Why Does It Take So Long To Get A Settlement In A Personal Injury Case?

Attorney Ben Schwartz answers a viewer question. It is a question he gets from almost every client & in almost every case. The question is, “Why does it take so long to get a settlement in a personal injury case?”

Why Does It Take So Long To Get A Settlement In A Personal Injury Case?

Hi, I’m Attorney Ben Schwartz,

Today we are going to answer a viewer question. This is a very frequently asked question in personal injury cases. It is a question we get from almost every client & in almost every case. The question is, “why does it take so long to get a settlement in a personal injury case?”

There are two reasons why it takes so long:

    1. The way we handle personal injury cases typically is, we let our client get their medical treatment. We, when I say we, I mean me and the attorneys in my Law Firm, wait until they are done with their medical treatment before we get all the medical records and all the medical bills and send them to the at-fault driver, at-fault landowner, or at-fault persons insurance company to try and negotiate a settlement. The reason we do that is that the legal case follows the medical case. The amount you are going to get for settlement, or the amount you are going to be awarded in a trial, is based on how bad your injuries are; how much medical treatment is required to get you back to normal or how much medical treatment it takes to get you back to as good as it gets. We don’t want to settle a case before it’s time. We want our client to get all their medical treatment and get everything done that they need to get done before we resolve the case and close it out. In many cases, our clients are getting 6 months, 8 months, 10 months, a year, a year and a half of medical treatment. I have had cases where there are multiple surgeries. I had one a few years ago where my client had six surgeries from his car accident and those six surgeries took several years. We didn’t settle the case until he had plateaued and he was done with all those six surgeries. So one thing that really drives a case to take a long time is the amount of medical care and treatment.
    2. If you file a lawsuit, it takes a long time for a lawsuit to go through the process. There are a lot of things that happen in a lawsuit, it’s just that they don’t all happen at once. There are things like depositions, interrogatories, request for production, mediation, all manner of things that need to happen, and they need to happen in a particular sequence. It is only when all of these events have occurred that the defense lawyer, often times…this is not every case, feels he or she has enough information to make an accurate recommendation of settlement to the insurance company. The insurance company that is going to pay the settlement has a defense lawyer defending the case. That defense lawyer produces reports and produces recommendations to the insurance company on when to settle, how much to offer to settle, how much is too much to settle. These are the types of things that the insurance company learns from dealing with the lawyer it has hired for the defense of the case. Often times the defense lawyer doesn’t feel comfortable settling a case until they have done everything they can to get as much information as possible. That can drive a case to continue on instead of settling.

That is two things that can make a case go for a long time. This is a question that everyone has about their personal injury case. The best thing I can tell you is that good things come to those who wait. If you have had a personal injury and you are pursuing a case, whether it is with me or lawyers in my office or lawyers of different law firms, the best thing to do is to be patient and be mindful of the fact that good things come to those that wait. If you hired a lawyer to pursue the case, let them do their job and let them do it in their time. That doesn’t mean leave them alone. That means check in with them every month or check in with him every 2 months, get an update. Talk to their assistant, find out what’s going on. Make a quarterly or bi-monthly appointment to go sit down with your lawyer and get an update. That way you know what’s going on and you’re comfortable with what’s going on in your case.

I’m Attorney Ben Schwartz, I hope that if you are an accident victim, you found this video interesting and informative. I hope that if you are an attorney or a paralegal, it helps you to explain things to your clients who may feel that things are taking longer than it should.

If you have questions for me send me an email. Thanks for watching!

Why Does It Take So Long To Get A Settlement In A Personal Injury Case?

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