Why Do Personal Injury Lawsuits Take So Long?
When you suffer a personal injury, your main concerns will be about recovering from the injury, paying for the medical bills, worrying about lost wages from missing work, and making sure that the party responsible for your injury—called the defendant—is held accountable. A personal injury lawsuit can take care of all of those concerns except for your recovery, of course. A lawsuit can help you receive the compensation that can cover medical expenses and lost wages, plus make sure that the party that caused the accident is held liable.
That is why it can be frustrating when a personal injury lawsuit takes a long time to resolve. Unfortunately, that is the norm with personal injury lawsuits, which is why you want yours to be resolved in your favor. It can be especially infuriating if you end up losing the lawsuit after having to wait months for it to be over. To have the best chance of a successful resolution, you should retain an experienced personal injury attorney to handle your case. You can find more information here.
You Have Not Reached Maximum Medical Improvement
Maximum medical improvement (MMI) can mean that you have fully recovered from your injuries or that your medical treatment has plateaued. That means that your injuries have stabilized to the point where no major changes can be expected in your treatment. Your lawyer will wait until you have reached MMI, at which point you can send your medical records to them so that they can be included in your list of damages.
The reason is that you want to know the extent of your injuries so that your lawyer will know how much compensation you will need to take care of your medical expenses. If you file too early and your injuries worsen, then the settlement you receive could end up being less than you need.
Your Personal Injury Case Has Legal Problems
One of the main points of a personal injury case is proving liability, i.e. who was responsible for the injury. In cases where the liability is not clear-cut and hard to prove, then that could cause the case to drag as the defendant and their insurance company fights the charge. Until you and your attorney can definitively prove that the defendant was at fault, the case could creep along The defendant could also be stalling for time in order to hold up the case for as long as possible while they search for a reason not to pay you at all. Your lawyer can try to speed things along but you should always be prepared for a stubborn, uncooperative defendant to delay the lawsuit for as long as possible.
The Compensation Is a Large Amount
If it turns out that you are eligible for a very large payout, then the insurance company will delay it for as long as possible while they pore over your case with a fine-toothed comb. They will try to find out if your injuries are as severe as you claim them to be, that you are an honest person who is not attempting to commit insurance fraud and that they do not have a strong defense against your case.
Another reason that the insurance company will try to delay the case if there is a lot of compensation involved is that they hope that you will just give up and settle for a lower payout. Unless you are desperate for the money and need it as quickly as possible, you should never accept less than what you are owed.
Your Case Is Going To Trial
Most personal injury cases get settled before they ever go to trial. For the few that do, a trial can be a long, drawn-out process. Additional legal documents will need to be filed, a courtroom needs to be reserved, a judge needs to hear the case, and a jury needs to deliberate before they reach a verdict. All of those elements cost time and money and can make your personal injury case last much longer than expected. A trial is also a gamble since there is no guarantee that you will win, but an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side definitely increases the odds.
A Personal Injury Lawsuit Requires Patience
There are a lot of factors that can affect how long a personal injury lawsuit will take, so when you file one you should be prepared to wait a while before it is resolved. If the lawsuit goes on for longer than you expect, then you may be tempted to accept a lower settlement amount. You shouldn’t. That is exactly what the defendant and their insurance company want you to do.
They will try to drag out the lawsuit in order to discourage you from waiting for the compensation that you deserve. That is why you need the services of an experienced personal injury attorney. They will do their best to expedite the personal injury lawsuit and make sure that you walk away with the payout that you deserve, and not a cent less.