October 10, 2019 Last updated August 16th, 2022 621 Reads share

Why It Is Not Possible To Tell How Much Time It Takes For Settlement In Personal Injury Cases?

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You need to be patient for settlement of personal injury cases that takes quite some time because it depends on the nature of the case and its complexities. Moreover, even personal injury lawyers can not tell in advance how much time it will take to receive compensation.  Usually, settlement of the majority of personal injury cases happens at the level of the insurers, which takes less time than filing a lawsuit. Court cases can run for a year or more, especially if it is a complicated case or big value claim that results in serious injuries or even fatalities.  The nature of the accident determines which way the case will proceed that in turn influences the legal process and the time it will take for settlement.

If you know the process of personal injury claim settlement, it should help to get some idea about how much time is required for settlement. To claim compensation for a personal injury, you must seek guidance from an experienced personal injury lawyer who you can contact by logging on to https://www.dennishernandez.com/personal-injury-lawyer-tampa/car-accident. Only the lawyer can build a strong case for claiming compensation by establishing that the other party was at fault that caused the accident and led to injuries and damage and provide adequate proof and evidence to support the claim.  The process of building a foolproof case by gathering evidence and organizing documents takes quite some time, and the legal process is time taking too.

In this article, we will discuss in brief the stages of personal injury claim that should help to understand why it takes time for settlement.

Follow the medical prognosis

You cannot do anything hurriedly in filing the claim because you must wait to understand the likely course of the medical condition. To establish the case on firm footing, and depending on the nature of injuries, it might be necessary to collect multiple medical reports. The process can stretch longer if the plaintiff undergoes rehabilitative treatment such as physiotherapy. Unless the medical expert understands the effects of injuries, they cannot complete the medical report. Only when you have recovered from the injuries, or there is a medical prognosis in place that you can expect that it is time for filing the claim.

The medical report contains everything from the extent and nature of injuries to the time it could take to recover and how the injuries are likely to impact the plaintiff’s future life. To ensure that you can claim for total damages, you must wait until the time of full recovery, which can take a few months or even more. Remember that you can file the claim once only and cannot hope to file any supplementary claim. The inability to estimate the total damages would result in an under-settlement of your claim.

How complex is the claim?

Complicated personal cases take a longer time for lawyers to put all the pieces of information and evidence in place. It may even involve medical experts to testify mostly at the insistence of the defendant. When medical experts get involved, the case will take a longer time. If it takes too much time for a settlement, then your lawyer can request for interim payments that help to make up for lost earnings or wages. The financial support helps the plaintiff to pull on for more time until settling, adjusting the amount already received.

Establishing liability and admission of liability

The case gathers speed from the time the defendant admits that he or she was responsible for the accident.  But acceptance of responsibility by the defendant might not be as simple. The defendant might try to shrug the responsibility by arguing that someone else was responsible until finally admitting it and this can prolong the process. The defiance of the defendant can lead to a debate among the lawyers of both parties that consumes a lot of time. Moreover, investigations might be necessary to establish that the defendant was responsible that requires gathering statements of witnesses, preparing lengthy documents and gathering CCTV footage. The time taken to complete this step stretches the claim settlement process.

Negotiations begin

After completing the process of gathering all documents and evidence necessary for building the case and when the lawyer is confident about driving home the point that the time comes for starting negotiations. Conclusive medical evidence is most important. It constitutes the sizeable portion of special damages and includes loss of earning as well as travel expenses, financial expenses, etc.  The lawyer must put several small pieces together to draw the complete picture to explain how the accident happened and why the defendant must take responsibility for it.   To complete the task, the lawyer would take some time, and you must factor it when setting your expectations about the time it takes for completion.

Bigger claims take a longer time for settlement

The statutory timelines are sacrosanct, and you can do very little to make improvements.  But whatever is within your control you must try to improve it.  Big claim amounts take a longer time to settle as it goes through multiple scrutinies at various levels.  Legal problems and incorrect furnishing of facts that necessitate corrections and re-submissions would stretch the time even further. Longer recovery time may be a reason for delaying the submission of a claim as you must wait to ensure that you claim full compensation.

Do not settle for less

The focus should be on receiving full compensation even if it takes a longer time. It should not happen that by hurrying, you end up in receiving lower compensation. It is a one-time settlement that does not allow supplementary filing claims. So, you must have the patience to see that everything goes through well and you receive the desired compensation.

Settling for something less is the last thing that you should consider. Unless the claim that you had submitted did have some cushion built into it consciously to inflate the claim amount. Typically, 4-6 weeks is the time that insurance settlers take to settle claims but being ready for longer settlement time is always advisable.

Jonah Engler

Jonah Engler

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