Involved in a minor accident or a serious collision? Wondering, “Why is my personal injury case taking so long?”
Getting compensation for your injuries and damages can be a complicated and frustrating process. Many factors can contribute to the time it takes to settle your case, including insurance issues, legal procedures, and other variables.
Settlement cases can be complicated and lengthy processes. They typically involve seeking medical treatment, legally evaluating the case, sending demand letters, filing claims, mediation or negotiation, and going to trial.
But sometimes, there are other factors at play that could prolong your settlement case. Here are possible answers to “why is my settlement taking so long?” and what you can do about it.
Why Do Insurance Companies Take So Long To Pay Out?
There are a lot of reasons that insurance companies take so long to pay out.
Here are a few:
Strict Policies and Guidelines
Insurance companies often have strict guidelines and criteria for what qualifies as an eligible claim, and these guidelines can be difficult to meet. This means that even if you have a legitimate claim, the company may not see it as such, resulting in slower processing times or even denial of your claim altogether.
They Have Their Staff Working on Claim Cases
Many insurance companies employ their staff of adjusters and lawyers who work to identify potential cases of fraud or abuse among claimants. This means they may subject your claim to extra scrutiny to weed out those trying to game the system or take unfair advantage of their policies.
Both Sides Take Time To Build Their Cases
In some cases, the insurance company and the claimant may gather evidence and build their cases before the negotiation begins. This process can take weeks or even months, further delaying the time it takes to receive a settlement.
They’d Rather Save on Costs
Insurance companies often focus on saving money as they still run businesses for their shareholders. This can make them reluctant to approve claims that seem like they might be costly for them. This means they’ll stall and do everything they can to minimize the amount you ultimately receive from your claim, significantly prolonging the payout process.
Some of These Firms Are Large
Many insurance companies are massive and complex organizations, with thousands of claims to process at any time. Your claim may not be a top priority for them, and it can take a long time for it to be processed and paid out.
Why Do Lawyers Drag Out Cases
It’s understandable to ask yourself, ‘Why is my lawyer taking so long to settle my case?’ After all, you’re the one who’s paying them, so shouldn’t they be working as quickly as possible to get you the money you need?
There are a few reasons why your lawyer may take longer than you’d like to settle your case. One of the main reasons why lawyers drag out insurance claim cases is to maximize their clients’ compensation and minimize the amount their opponents pay.
The average car accident settlement claims include medical bills, emotional distress, and insurance payments. Insurance can reimburse you for the amount you’ve paid while considering emotional trauma.
In car accident settlement cases, attorneys often try to get the other driver’s insurance company to pay out as much as possible. Attorneys can do this by negotiating a higher settlement or by taking the case to trial and asking for a larger sum than originally offered.
For instance, rear-end accident settlements and claims can take a bit longer to settle because of the potential for more serious injuries.
Not only that, but the nature of these accidents usually means seeking medical attention. And while you won’t prioritize money over your health during this time, it’s important to understand what it means when you have a hospital lien. Check out this article to understand how a hospital lien works and how it affects you in such a situation.
How Long Does the Deposition Process Take?
The deposition process is one of the final steps in most personal injury lawsuits. Depositions are statements by witnesses under oath, typically used to gather information about what happened during the accident or incident.
Once all the depositions have been given and the attorneys have had a chance to review them, they might start negotiating a settlement. If they don’t think it’s worth taking the case to trial.
How long this process takes depends on many factors.
They include the following.
- The type of case litigated is one of the most important factors that affect the deposition process. This can include elements such as the overall nature of the dispute, the amount at stake, and any previous court rulings or settlement agreements in similar cases.
All of these factors will help determine how aggressive each party may be during the deposition process and what information they may seek from opposing witnesses or experts.
- The level of experience and skill of both sides’ attorneys is another important consideration regarding depositions. Experienced lawyers tend to better grasp strategies for strong questioning and are more likely to know how to elicit useful testimony from opposing witnesses.
Furthermore, legal teams with more experience often have greater resources and access to expert witnesses who can provide helpful insights into the technical aspects of a case.
- The amount of time available for depositions is another key factor influencing. In general, longer depositions tend to be more thorough and in-depth as attorneys have more opportunity to probe into various aspects of a witness’s testimony or conduct further research on specific topics related to their case.
On the other hand, shorter depositions must be more focused and strategic in gathering information, as there may not be enough time to ask all relevant questions or explore all possible angles in detail.
- The number of witnesses involved in a particular deposition can also affect its outcome. Suppose there are only a few key witnesses involved. In that case, attorneys will usually put more effort into preparing them for their testimonies since those individuals could have an outsized impact on the outcome of their case.
However, suppose many different witnesses arrive for a single deposition session. In that case, attorneys will likely focus less on preparing individual witnesses and try to get through as many testimonies as possible within the allotted time frame.
- The format and setting for depositions can also affect their overall effectiveness. Different types of legal proceedings may favor different formats for depositions (such as formal courtroom settings versus informal conference rooms).
This can influence how attorneys prepare their questions or whether certain evidence needs to be submitted beforehand for review by opposing counsels or judges before questioning starts in earnest during depositions.
How Long After Deposition Is Settlement?
There’s no right answer to this question. But it usually doesn’t happen during or right after depositions.
The other party will analyze the depositions, and if they think they have a weak case or want to avoid trial expenses, they might propose a settlement. If the case goes to trial, a settlement offer might still happen during this period.
My Lawyer Is Taking Too Long
There is no specific timeline regarding the time it takes to settle most car accident or personal injury settlement cases.
But sometimes, this process takes so long that you ask, “How long can a lawsuit stay open?”
In general, the statute of limitations for most personal injury cases ranges from a year to six years from the date of the accident.
This means that it could take a while before your case resolves. Also, remember that your lawyer might be taking longer because they want to ensure you get the best possible outcome and maximum compensation for your injuries.
But this does mean that your hands are completely tied. If your attorney is taking too long to settle your case, here are some options you should consider.
- Seek out alternate resources for legal help. Many people wait to consult a lawyer, especially if their case isn’t urgent or complicated. However, there are many other ways to get the legal help you need, even if your attorney seems to be taking too long. One option is to consult an online legal service provider.
If that’s not an option, consider hiring a different attorney. Sometimes clients aren’t satisfied with the level of service they’re receiving from their current attorney, no matter how hard they try to communicate effectively or make changes within their case strategy. If this sounds like your situation, consider looking for a new lawyer who can provide the help you need more quickly and efficiently than your current one can. Note that a lawyer can not give go in much detail with you about your case if you are currently represented by another law firm.
There are many great car accident lawyers, so don’t be afraid to consult or engage with them.
- Look into alternatives like mediation or arbitration. If you have a relatively straightforward legal issue that doesn’t require an in-depth legal analysis, it might be worth exploring alternative dispute resolution options like mediation or arbitration. These methods allow you to resolve disputes more quickly and cost-effectively than going through the court system, which may save you both time and money in the long run.
Contact Stoy Law Group, PLLC.
Don’t get caught unaware or wondering “how long do most car accident settlements take?”
Get the help and the service you deserve. Contact us to make sure your rights are being protected.