One of the factors that determine the length of time it takes to settle a personal injury case is the length of a person’s recovery. It is never a wise choice to settle an injury claim before being released by your doctor. Once your doctor releases you from care, your Tennessee personal injury attorney can prepare a settlement demand and begin negotiating the terms of a settlement with the insurance company. However, several factors may lengthen the time it may take to reach a final settlement. Different factors play a larger role in different cases. Simply, each case is different in one way or another.
Factors That Impact the Settlement of a Personal Injury Claim
Permanent Impairments and Disabilities
The full extent of your injuries and the value of your claim cannot be determined until you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI). Upon reaching MMI, your doctors issue an opinion regarding any permanent impairment and the need for ongoing medical care. This factor can substantially increase the value of your claim. You should not settle a claim before you reach MMI. If you settle a claim before you reach MMI, you risk settling your case for less than your claim later proved to be worth.
If you sustained permanent impairments or disabilities, it takes longer to gather the medical documentation and evidence to prove the extent of your disability and the cost of future care. A financial expert may also need to be consulted to calculate the value of your future lost wages and other damages. Your attorney will help find and retain a good expert to help with this.
Factual or Legal Problems with the Claim
While you are recovering, your attorney is working on the legal aspect of your claim. You must prove the other party was responsible for causing your injury to recover compensation from that party. In cases involving disputes related to fault and causation issues, it may take longer to gather evidence and consult experts to prove negligence and liability.
If liability is disputed, it is unlikely that the insurance company will make a reasonable settlement offer. Therefore, it may be necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit to argue liability in court. While a lawsuit may settle before the case goes to trial, filing a lawsuit can lengthen the time it takes to resolve the claim. However, the goal is to get you as much money as possible. Settling too early often results in getting less money than you otherwise could have.
Your Claim Involves Large Damages
In cases involving high-dollar damages, the insurance provider is vigilant in performing its due diligence to ensure that it investigates every aspect of the case to reduce its liability whenever possible. The insurance company may take additional time to consult experts and investigate various defenses in an attempt to lower the amount of damages you might be entitled to receive for your claim. Your lawyer is working during this time to continue to build a strong case to justify maximum compensation. Your attorney’s work gets you more money. That work may take time, but the right attorney will get you much more money through their hard work.
Some Insurance Companies Are More Difficult to Work With Than Other Companies
The insurance company itself can be a factor in how long it takes to settle a case. For example, some companies are much more difficult to negotiate with than other companies. If a company has a reputation for denying valid claims or causing unnecessary delays, your lawyer may recommend filing a personal injury lawsuit instead of wasting time in pointless negotiations. You want compensation, but you only get one chance to recover for your damages. Do not let the feeling of “wanting to get this over” with making a good decision. A good attorney will help you understand the significance of settling when the time is right, and for an amount you agree to. Otherwise, you are stuck with an early and possibly regrettable settlement.
Once a Settlement is Reached How Long Does it Take to Receive My Money?
Once a settlement is reached, it typically takes several weeks to receive a check. Before the insurance company issues a check, settlement agreements and releases must be drafted and executed. The company issues a check only after receiving the signed release and settlement agreement. This process takes time, even when a settlement has been reached. This process may feel too long, but it leads to good outcomes. Your attorney will keep you updated throughout the process.
Your attorney must verify that all medical bills and costs associated with your case have been paid. For example, this step involves contacting medical providers and health insurance companies. In some cases, your attorney may attempt to negotiate a lower payment to a provider, which may also take additional time. This is one of the things that having a good attorney helps you with, among other things. If you have the right attorney, they will handle this.
After settling all claims against your settlement proceeds, your attorney deducts his fees and costs and issues you a check for your proceeds from the settlement. People who hire a good attorney recover up to 3x more than people who do not. Make the right decision while you have time. This is one issue you can control after being injured in an accident.
Working with an Experienced Nashville, TN Personal Injury Attorney Can Impact a Settlement Timeline
An experienced Tennessee personal injury attorney understands the timeline and steps involved in settling a personal injury claim. Therefore, you may avoid some of the common delays in settling a claim by choosing an attorney who has extensive experience handling and settling personal injury cases. Schedule a free consult today. You will be glad you did.
Posted in: Personal Injury