It is not likely for your attorney to advise you to settle your claim until you have made a full recovery from your injuries or have a firm medical prognosis. Once a claim is settled, no further compensation can be paid in relation to that claim. This is the reason for waiting to settle your claim until this medical evidence is complete.
You would be at risk of under-settling your claim if you were to settle your claim before either making a complete recovery. After a claim is settled, you shall lose the ability to apply for further compensation if your injuries persisted for longer than expected or even became worse in the upcoming years.
Your lawyer uses the report prepared by the medical expert to compare your injuries to Claimants in previously settled cases who have sustained injuries similar to your own. This is essential in order to calculate how much your claim for your pain and suffering may be worth. Your lawyer might refer to a source referred to as Judicial Council guidelines for guidance.
You might have a personal injury case that you are dragging on for years. You might even want to just settle your case fast even at the cost of accepting less money to do it.
You can settle any personal injury case quickly as long as you are willing to take less money in general. You need to contemplate as to how much money you could afford to give up for a quick settlement.
In fact, settlement might take longer than usual in certain cases. You ought to think twice before taking a quick settlement.
Reasons why a personal injury case can take a long time:
There are three main reasons why a personal injury case can really take a long time:
- The case has some kind of legal or factual problems
- The case involves a lot of money
- You have not yet reached a point of maximum medical improvement from your injuries.
When your case involves any of these situations, chances are high that your case shall take some time to settle. You might even need to spend some extra cash in order to resolve your case in such cases.
The value of a personal injury case is usually determined by considered liability and damages. Here, the liability refers to the person or party who was at fault and the damages refer to the extent of the injuries suffered by the plaintiff.
In certain cases, liability is hard to prove. In such cases, the insurer is not likely to make a reasonable settlement offer. However, the rightful settlement might be offered if the plaintiff’s lawyer has put the case in suit and hired liability experts to show that the defendant was at fault. If the case involves legal issues, then it is not likely for the insurer to make any significant offer on the case until a judge has ruled on your right to sue. In this context, the legal issues involve case where the insurer believes that you have no legal right to sue.
Also, the damages involved in the case might create problems. Such cases involve the treating physicians being unsure that the defendant’s negligence caused the plaintiff’s injury. You always need to take the responsibility to prove that the defendant’s negligence caused your injuries. In case your doctors are unsure on this, then the insurer is not going to make a deserving settlement offer. Only your lawyer can play your savior here if he can produce a doctor to testify that the defendant’s fault caused your injuries.
In case the case involves large damages, it can delay settlement as well. In general, insurers do not pay huge money on a settlement until they have done their proper investigation that is often referred to as due diligence.
For any insurer, due diligence is referred to investigating every aspect of the liability and damages surrounding the case. The insurer needs to be convinced about the following things before settling for reasonable money:
- they lack a good defense to the case
- your injuries are genuinely as severe as you claim that they are
- they cannot challenge your credibility by any means
Certain times, insurers might delay settlement on a big case just to see if the plaintiff will give up and accept less money. Most of the badly injured people need the settlement money, and cannot wait too long for compensation. Most of the insurers know this fact and try to wait out the plaintiff.
One of the very solid reasons as to why personal injuries take a lot of time to resolve is that you are still treating for your injuries. When you decide to wait, you are unlikely to settle a personal injury case until you have reached a point of maximum medical improvement from your injuries.
The main reason that you want to wait until you are at MMI before settling is so that you and your lawyer will know how to get proper value for your damages. When you are still undergoing treatment, it is unclear whether you will fully recover or not. Your case is likely to be worth less than if you never did recover if you completely recover from your injuries.
In reality, there are no specific set of hardcore rules to guarantee short settlements. In certain cases, the insurer might offer 30-35% of what it might offer at trial. However, in others, it might only offer 5-10% or even less of what it might offer at trial.
When you have a personal injury case, and are thinking that you just want to settle it as early as possible without getting involved in a long litigation process, you should surely seek for a personal injury lawyer. Remember that only a personal injury lawyer can advise you of the risks of a quick settlement depending on the facts of your case.