Why Your Car Accident Settlement Is Taking So Long
Posted on Wednesday, May 17th, 2023 at 12:00 pm
In the wake of a car accident, you’re suddenly thrown into a chaotic situation far from your regular routine. One thing that might have crossed your mind more than once during this chaotic time is: “Why is my car accident settlement taking so long?”
You’re not alone. Here in Ohio, countless others are grappling with the same issue – waiting for a settlement to a case that drags on endlessly. After all, you’re dealing with not only physical pain and emotional trauma but also mounting medical bills and other expenses. You need that settlement, and you need it now.
In this blog, our car accident lawyers discuss why your car accident settlement might be taking longer than expected. We’ll shed light on some of the complexities of the settlement process and help you understand the factors that can influence the timeline. Because when you’re better informed, you’re better equipped to take on this challenging time. Let’s dive in.
What Makes Car Accident Settlements Drag
When you’re waiting for your car accident settlement, it’s important to remember that each case is unique and involves its own set of variables. The timeline depends on the specifics of your accident, the details of the claim, and how insurance companies process it. Here are some common factors that might be causing your settlement to take longer than expected:
- Complex Liability: Determining who’s at fault in a car accident isn’t always clear-cut. If there’s uncertainty or a dispute about who caused the accident, it can take more time to settle a case.
- Significant Injuries: The settlement process could take longer if you or others involved in the accident suffered severe injuries. It often takes a while to accurately calculate the cost of the injured parties’ medical treatment, rehabilitation, and potential long-term care needs. Sometimes, the full extent of injuries is not clear immediately after the accident, and it can take months for the complete picture to emerge.
- Insurance Company Delays: Sometimes, the insurance company might not be as quick to settle as you’d hope. They could take longer to review documents, conduct their own investigation, or engage in lengthy negotiations. They might also dispute the claim, requiring further negotiations or legal action.
- Legal Proceedings: If your case ends up in court, it will inevitably take longer for you to receive compensation. The wheels of justice can turn slowly, and there’s often a lot of waiting involved – waiting for court dates, waiting for judgments, waiting for appeals.
- Incomplete Documentation: Any missing or incomplete documentation can slow the process. If the police report, medical records, or proof of damages are not submitted promptly and accurately, the insurance company may delay the settlement.
Why Insurance Companies Delay Settlements
It’s crucial to remember that insurance companies are businesses focused on their bottom line. Paying out claims affects their profitability, so they might employ various strategies to delay the settlement process. For instance, an insurance company may take a longer time to review your documents or conduct its own investigation. They’re looking for any discrepancies or uncertainties they could potentially use to dispute the claim.
Furthermore, the insurance company might dispute the severity of your injuries or the extent of your needed care, which can prolong negotiations. They could question the cost of your medical treatment, your recovery timeline, or whether some treatments were necessary. Finally, they may apply stalling tactics such as requesting additional paperwork or repeatedly changing claims adjusters to prolong the process. In these instances, the insurer’s usual goal is to cause frustration, so you’ll accept a lowball settlement.
How Our Car Accident Lawyers Can Help
Hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer can make a significant difference in the timeline of a car accident settlement. An attorney can potentially expedite the resolution of your car accident claim in several ways:
- Understanding of the Law: Personal injury attorneys have extensive knowledge of the law. They understand the legal procedures, deadlines, and paperwork you must follow, ensuring you don’t inadvertently slow down the process by making a mistake.
- Negotiation Skills: An attorney can negotiate assertively with insurance companies on your behalf. They know the tactics these companies might use to delay or minimize your settlement and are prepared to counter them effectively.
- Accurate Valuation: Attorneys can help accurately estimate the actual value of your claim. They can consider not just your current medical bills but also future costs, lost income, emotional distress, and other damages. This can speed up the process by establishing a fair settlement amount early on, reducing the need for prolonged negotiations.
- Representation in Court: If your case goes to court, an attorney can represent you, ensuring your case is presented effectively and professionally, which can lead to a quicker resolution.
Remember, when you’re reeling from a car accident, you need a champion in your corner – someone who understands the legal terrain and can guide you through it. That’s what our legal team is here for. Call (513) 351-5997 today or fill out our contact form for a free consultation.