Why Do Personal Injury Lawsuits Take So Long to Settle?

If a person got injured because of another’s negligence, they might be entitled to compensation for their medical bills and pain and suffering. But unfortunately, the process of acquiring this compensation often takes a long time. There are many reasons why personal injury lawsuits take so long to settle.

This post will discuss the considerations to determine how long it will take until settlement occurs. Several factors can influence how long a personal injury lawsuit will take to settle.

1. High Insurance Rates

The first thing that may affect the time it takes to settle a personal injury lawsuit is the insurance company. If your insurance rates have recently gone up, you may need more motivation to come to a settlement quickly.

Insurance rates will also go up if you file many lawsuits. Insurance companies will be interested in settling as soon as possible, even if you are receiving care for your injuries and are not yet at the point of recovery where you can return to work.

2. Insurance Company’s Stance on Compensation

Another factor affecting the time it takes to settle a personal injury lawsuit is how the insurance company approaches your compensation request. Most insurance companies will try to bargain down your claim with various tactics.

They can try to negotiate for a lesser amount, such as offering you something in exchange for an agreement not to sue. They may also try to make your case take longer than it would if you were going to receive a settlement in other circumstances.

3. Who’s Fault It Was for Your Damages and Injuries

If a party’s negligence is proven with no contest, the insurance company will likely be interested in settling quickly. However, if you are suing an individual or business entity, but the fault is hard to prove, a jury will most likely be hearing the case and deciding whether or not the individual or business entity was negligent.

Taking your case to court can often delay settlement for months and years because there will be a trial. It can be expensive to hold a trial, so both parties will most likely want to settle. However, be careful what you settle for, as insurers and lawyers will want to close the deal in their best interest, not yours. 

4. If There Is an Injury

If you are suing because you were injured, the type, severity, and life-long consequences of the injuries will come into play. The more issues are involved, the longer a personal injury lawsuit will take to settle. The longer it takes, the more time you have to spend dealing with your injury and any recovery time after it.

5. If There Is Permanent Damage

If there is permanent damage or the injury will affect you for the rest of your life, you may get entitled to a larger settlement. However, it will likely take a long time to settle the lawsuit if this is the case because many factors must get considered.

For example, you may need to provide documentation proving how the injury will impact your life and how much it will cost in medical bills over your lifetime. Unfortunately, it could take years to obtain and verify.

If your injuries have a long-lasting effect on your life (disability, extensive lifestyle changes, etc.), you will need to make ends meet and obtain economic compensation. Unfortunately, in some situations (defective products, multi-vehicular accidents, medical malpractice, etc.), your case could take years before it ends with a settlement or a jury verdict for compensatory damages.

6. If There Are Multiple Claimants

If multiple people are all suing for injuries related to the same incident, this can cause a delay in your case. It can also complicate your already complicated case, which will take much longer to settle.

7. If You Need to Hire an Attorney

If you need to hire a personal injury attorney, this may add some time to how long it takes your claim or lawsuit to settle. Your lawyer needs time to build your case. On the other hand, getting an attorney is the best way to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Otherwise, going alone means a quick, lowball settlement.

8. If You Need to Travel

If you need to travel, it can be expensive and time-consuming to do so. It can cause a delay in your case. The insurance company often wants you to travel further from home for a deposition or trial. It can cause you to have additional expenses and take longer than necessary to settle the case.

Bottom Line

Personal injury cases often take a long time to settle, even when they are simple. When they become more complex, they can take even longer. It is why those injured in an accident should seek medical treatment immediately. And contact an attorney so that the attorney can get to work making sure the person gets compensated for their injuries on time.

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