If you've been injured in an accident, you're likely wondering what the personal injury claims process looks like and how long it takes. Many people delay reaching out to a lawyer because they think the process will drag on and on. Alternatively, many people also think after filing a claim, they will immediately receive a settlement amount. The truth is that the length of your case depends on your specific circumstances. It's advisable to speak with a knowledgeable accident attorney in Arizona or New Mexico to understand the specifics of your potential case. However, in this article, we've compiled a general explanation of the personal injury claims timeline in an attempt to answer the question “why is my injury claim taking so long?” or “why is my car accident settlement taking so long?”
To speak with one of our lawyers in Arizona or New Mexico, call or text (602) 345-1818 to set up your free initial consultation. You may also fill out our online form here to request your consultation.
So Why Is My Injury Claim Taking So Long?
There are a few reasons your personal injury claim may be taking a long time to come to completion. The three usual reasons include:
- Your case may be hindered by legal or factual issues
- Your case is big, involving a lot of damages and significant compensation
- You may not have reached maximum medical improvement, which is essential to ensuring you get the right injury settlement amount
Sometimes negotiations and other details take a while to complete, and your case will continue. While this can be unfortunate, it's the best way to ensure you get the compensation you need and deserve. Your lawyer should be out there fighting to get you a fair and appropriate settlement, and sometimes that means having many conversations with the other side. We'll break down the three above scenarios in the following paragraphs.
Legal or Factual Issues Are Holding Up Your Case
Amid your personal injury claim, some issues could hold up your settlement. Some of those issues include liability determinations, disagreements about damages incurred, disputes regarding the monetary value of specific losses. In some cases, liability is difficult to determine, and the opposing party's insurance company is less willing to agree on a settlement. In these cases, your attorney will rely on various pieces of evidence, which may include bringing in expert liability professionals. Sometimes a plaintiff's losses may be disputed. This can happen in the case that a plaintiff had pre-existing conditions and the question of if the accident caused the specific injury comes up. If your case is held up because of any of these legal issues, your lawyer will rely on the evidence to prove your case.
A Lot Is at Stake in Big Cases
Sometimes a plaintiff's case is hindered by the size of it. If a lot of compensation is involved, it can weigh down a case, making the other side less willing to settle for the fair and appropriate amount. Often, the other side will investigate every detail of the case to pay as little as possible.
A common practice in cases involving a large amount of compensation is for the insurance company to intentionally delay settlement. The hope is that the plaintiff will tire of waiting or become financially desperate and settle for less than they deserve. Know that this practice is illegal, and your lawyer will be able to stop a bad-faith insurance company in its tracks by knowing what tactics to look out for.
Reaching Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI)
Maximum medical improvement is a stable point in your recovery. While you may not be entirely healed, MMI gets you to a steady point to understand the future medical/compensatory needs of your injury. This is one of the most common reasons an accident case may take a long time to settle. It's vital to wait for MMI so that you know the true value of your personal injury case. You don't want to settle for what you believe to be a good number at the time only to find out later that your injuries need a lot more medical attention (meaning a lot more medical expense). The idea is that MMI allows you to get to a point where you understand the current state of your recovery, future medical expenses, long-term implications of your injury, and other associated damages. Rushing this can severely impact your overall recovery and healing.
Speak with an Injury Lawyer
Delaying your legal consultation can extend your injury claim even more. Don't wait to speak with a lawyer because you are unsure of the timeline or other details of your case. Schedule a free consultation to understand the details of your case and what your best next steps may be. To set up your no-cost, no-obligation consultation with our personal injury lawyers, call or text (602) 345-1818. You may also fill out the online form on this page. We look forward to helping you get your life back together.
For more information on the personal injury process, check out our other resources: