Every personal injury case is unique. For example, even though many people are involved in rear-end crashes, each accident involves different facts and injuries.
Another difference between personal injury cases is how much time they take to reach a resolution. Some victims get frustrated and wonder why their personal injury case is taking so long.
Below, Sigman Janssen discusses some of the common reasons why a personal injury case may take a long time to reach a resolution. Our law firm has been representing the injured in Wisconsin for decades. We have a proven record of securing millions to help victims get their lives back.
Have legal questions following a personal injury? Call Sigman Janssen: (877) 888-5201.
You Suffered Catastrophic Injuries
The more severe your injuries are, the more compensation you will need. If you suffer life-altering injuries, you will need compensation for the medical care you have already received, as well as for the care you may need in the future. Other damages you may need to recover include your lost wages and lost earning capacity. You may also be eligible to seek non-economic damages.
When victims seek significant compensation, insurance companies will look for any reason to deny or underpay the claim. They are more likely to carefully investigate every aspect of the case, looking for some reason to dispute liability, question your credibility, reduce the value of the claim, or blame you for the accident.
It is reasonable for insurance companies to make sure they are not paying out more compensation than the victim needs. However, insurance companies also deny and try to underpay claims when Appleton personal injury lawyers have extensive evidence that supports the victim’s position.
Insurance companies like to delay settlement in the hopes the victim will give up or accept a lowball offer. This can result in the claim taking a lot longer to resolve.
Proving Liability Is More Difficult
Sometimes it is more difficult to prove liability. This could be because the insurance company is trying to delay the process by making unreasonable demands for evidence of liability. However, some cases are simply harder to prove. For example, it can be difficult to prove liability for a slip and fall case. It can even be difficult to prove liability for some car crashes.
When victims sustain catastrophic injuries, insurance companies are going to demand more detailed evidence of liability and the value of damages. Your lawyer may need to hire expert witnesses to explain how your injuries occurred and how they affect you physically, financially and emotionally.
The more challenging it is to prove liability, the more likely your case will need to go to trial. It takes longer to resolve a case through a lawsuit than an insurance settlement.
It May Take a Long Time For the Victim To Reach Maximum Medical Improvement
An experienced lawyer will wait for you to reach maximum medical improvement before negotiating for compensation. Maximum medical improvement (MMI) is the point at which your injuries have healed as much as they are likely to heal. Your injuries are unlikely to get much better, even if you receive ongoing treatment.
There is no telling when you will reach MMI. Some injuries take longer to stop healing than others. There are also individual factors to consider. For example, some people respond better to treatment than others. This could be because of the victim’s overall health, preexisting medical issues, age and genetic factors.
You do not want to settle a case before you reach MMI, as you are not going to know how much ongoing medical care you may need. If you agree to a settlement too quickly, you may end up paying for some of your future medical care out of your own pocket.
The Insurance Company Is Dragging Its Feet
The insurance company’s philosophy is that if they delay settlement long enough, you may give up and accept the lowball settlement they are offering.
Accident victims are in a difficult, stressful situation. You must pay for medical care up front, and if your lawyer recovers a settlement, you will get reimbursed. However, medical care costs a lot of money and you may be unable to work.
One of the benefits of hiring a lawyer is that he or she may be able to negotiate with healthcare providers to have them withhold collecting payment until your case is resolved. They may even be able to negotiate a reduced bill, allowing you to keep more of your settlement.
Insurance companies employ a variety of delaying tactics:
- Ignoring phone calls and emails
- Taking longer than necessary to process documents
- Making unreasonable demands to fill out paperwork that asks for information you have already provided
- Misrepresenting the terms of the insurance policy
- Taking too long to investigate the case
Your Lawyer Needed To File a Lawsuit
Lawsuits take longer than settlements. There are many steps that precede a trial, and it may take time to get a trial date, depending on how busy the court is. However, the extra time may be well worth it if you have a life-changing injury.
Most cases settle, and there is no telling when a case may go to trial. You always want to have the option of going to trial, which is why you need an experienced lawyer who regularly takes cases to court. When you hire a lawyer with trial experience, the insurance company knows there is a possibility of a lawsuit. They are likely to take the case more seriously because they want to avoid the courtroom.
Injured By Another’s Negligence? Call To Schedule a Free Consultation
Despite all the advertising people see for personal injury law firms, many injury victims are unsure about contacting a lawyer for legal help.
At Sigman Janssen, there are no upfront costs for our services. The initial meeting with a lawyer is free and there are no fees while we work on your case. Our experienced lawyers are dedicated to securing full compensation for all the damages you suffered. We represent the injured, helping to level the playing field against powerful insurance companies.
Sigman Janssen. Licensed. Local. Lawyers. Call: (877) 888-5201.