Injury claims can seem uncertain due to the many variables involved in the claims process. While settling an injury claim will take time, there may be a point where you begin to wonder why your case is taking so long.
Houston personal injury lawyers know why a case takes longer. Here they are:
Today, we will share five key factors that can influence the timeline of your personal injury claim. We hope to clarify what a confusing and frustrating time can be.
Some variables are within your control, while others are out of your control. Nevertheless, understanding why some injury claims take longer to settle may give you a better idea of what to expect.
Liability is Contested
One of the most common reasons an injury claim may take longer to settle is if liability is contested. The at-fault party (or their insurance company) does not believe they are responsible for the accident.
Both sides will likely need to conduct a thorough investigation to prove their respective positions in these cases. This can take time, but it is often necessary to reach a fair settlement.
Texas is a proportional responsibility state, which means that fault for every party is assessed in every case. When the parties disagree on the degree of responsibility, the case will take longer to resolve.
Scenario- The Changed Story:
Imagine walking in a parking lot when a car suddenly struck you. You suffered some severe injuries because of the accident. When you spoke to the driver, they claimed the accident was not their fault because another car had backed into them, causing them to veer into you.
Scenario- Many Parties:
You are injured in a multi-car pile-up. Fingers will likely be pointed in many directions, which makes the settlement much more difficult to achieve timely. Multiple-party cases usually take much longer to conclude.
Both sides must investigate the accident in these cases to determine who was at fault. And everyone may disagree on fault. Likely, a lawsuit will be required. This process can take much longer than other claims, but it is vital to get it right to reach a fair settlement.
Medical Treatment is Ongoing
Another common reason injury claims take longer to settle is if the victim is still receiving medical treatment.
Determining the full extent of someone’s injuries can be challenging when they are still healing. It is often best to wait until the treatment has been completed before moving forward with a settlement. This way, you can be sure to receive compensation for all your injuries.
Scenario – Ongoing Medical Treatment:
If you were in a car accident and suffered a broken arm, you would most likely need to undergo surgery and have a cast placed. You can pursue a settlement once your arm has healed and you have been released from your doctor’s care.
However, if you were still receiving treatment for your broken arm, it would be difficult to determine the full extent of your injuries. As a result, it would be best to wait until your treatment is completed before moving forward with a settlement.
Gathering the medical records in the correct form has been a thorn in the side of all Houston personal injury lawyers. Hospitals and doctors do not make money from producing the records.
Thus, getting your lawyer’s records can take months, with much prompting.
The Insurance Company Fights Paying Reasonable Compensation
We have all heard horror stories about insurance companies being difficult to work with. Unfortunately, this is often the case for personal injury claims. Insurance companies are businesses, and their bottom line is to make money.
As such, they will often try to lowball victims to get them to settle for less than they deserve. If you are in this situation, do not be afraid to stand up for yourself and fight for the fair compensation you deserve.
Scenario-Lawsuit Needed to Advance Settlement:
Suppose you were in a car accident caused by the other driver. You suffered an injury in the accident and had to miss two months of work. The other driver’s insurance company contacts you and offers you a settlement of $3,000.
However, you know that your medical bills alone will cost more than $3,000. In this case, you would likely need to file a lawsuit to get the insurance company to offer a fair settlement.
Damages are Significant
Hiring expert witnesses to testify about the victim’s injuries and their expected future needs is often necessary. This can take time, but it is often necessary to reach a fair settlement.
Scenario -Severe Injuries:
If you were in a car accident that left you paralyzed from the waist down, you would need to hire an expert witness to testify about your injuries.
Litigation is Needed to Resolve the Claim
Sometimes, the only way to reach a fair settlement is to file a lawsuit and take the case to trial. This is often the case when liability is contested or the insurance company is being unreasonable. While litigation can take time, it may be the only way to get the compensation you deserve.
Scenario- Lowball Offer:
You were involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler caused by the truck driver. The insurance company denies liability and offers you $5,000 to settle your claim.
You know this is insufficient to cover your damages, so you file a lawsuit. Your case eventually goes to trial, and the jury awards you $250,000. In this case, litigation was necessary to reach a fair settlement.
Contact The Top-Rated Personal Injury Lawyers at Baumgartner Law Firm for Help!
If you have been injured in an auto accident, it is crucial to understand the process and what you can expect. An experienced personal injury attorney can investigate your case, negotiate with the insurance company, and fight for the compensation you deserve.
These are just a few reasons why some injury claims take longer to settle than many may expect.
The compassionate personal injury attorneys at Baumgartner Law Firm have extensive experience handling all injury claims. Our law firm is based in Houston. We will answer your questions and help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
6711 Cypress Creek Pkwy, Houston, TX, 77069
Call (281) 587-1111 to see if we can help you!