• Lisa Brown

Why Is It Taking So Long to Settle My Case?

You’ve been injured in a Florida auto accident.  You know the accident wasn’t your fault, and you’re now forced to miss work and undergo weeks if not months of medical treatment.  At the same time, the medical bills start to pile up and you may begin to struggle financially.   All the while, your personal injury claim seems to just be limping along.  It’s understandable why you might be feeling impatient, and why you want to know why your settlement is taking so long.

There a number of factors that can delay the progress of your Florida personal injury claim.  It is important to know, however, that settling your case is generally not a fast process.

What Can Delay the Settlement of My Florida Personal Injury Claim?

After an accident, there are many issues that go into determining both the settlement value of your claim, as well as the time it will take to resolve your case.  You may be certain that the accident wasn’t your fault, and that you are now suffering from and seeking treatment for injuries you’ve never had before.  The problem is, the insurance company may not be as certain on these issues as you are.

Some of the reasons a settlement can be delayed include the following:

  1. Fault may not be clear: Although you may know that you’re not at fault for the accident, the other driver may be telling his/her insurance company the same thing.  If the fault is not clear, the insurance company will usually take the side of its own driver.   If this occurs, this will affect what, if anything, the insurance company may be willing to offer you to settle your case.

  2. Ongoing medical care: Injuries can often require lengthy and ongoing medical treatment.  Sometimes, it can also take a while to even determine what the best treatment will be for your injury.  For example, it may take several courses of different types of treatment to finally determine that surgery is your best option.  This could affect the value of your future medical care.   This is why it is important to wait to know exactly what you are facing rather than trying to guess what your future medical needs may be.

  3. Your pre-accident medical condition: When you claim an injury from an accident, the insurance company will want to know whether you have ever suffered from the same or similar injury before.  This will require getting your medical records for some number of years before your accident.  This can take time.  In addition, even if your medical records don’t show any similar problems in the past, the insurance company may still take the position that your injury is not completely related to the accident.  Negotiating these issues takes time, and may require a lawsuit.

  4. The need for a lawsuit: If you cannot come to an agreement with the insurance company, your case may require a lawsuit.  Lawsuits can take substantial time to resolve and may require a trial.

Can My Attorney Tell Me How Long My Case Will Take to Settle?

There are some personal injury attorneys who may attempt to tell you how long it will take them to settle your case.  The truth is, however, they will be only guessing.  Then, when the time comes when your case should have settled, they will be forced to give you some excuse as to why they were wrong.

Given the number of factors involved in determining the value of a claim, there is no way for an attorney to know exactly what issue the insurance company will want to challenge.  There may be many.  Because of this, there is also no way for an attorney to know how long it will take to settle your claim.

It is also important to know that NO TWO PERSONAL INJURY CLAIMS ARE THE SAME.  So if an attorney tries to tell you that your case is similar to one they just resolved in a certain period of time, they again will just be guessing. We often hear from people who have been injured that they have a “friend” who had the same kind of accident and injury, and their case resolved in a short period of time.  Although their cases that are factually similar to yours, EVERY CASE IS DIFFERENT.  This is true even if it involves the same insurance company.  There are many reasons for this, including your prior medical history, your current medical treatment, or even the insurance adjuster that has been assigned to handle your claim.

If I Settle My Florida Personal Injury Claim, Can I Still Recover for Future Medical Care?

If you’ve been injured in a Florida auto accident, you will have only one opportunity to recover for your injuries from the insurance company.  Once you agree to a settlement, your claim will be over and you will not be able to recover for any other damages you may have in the future.  This is why it is important to be patient and to let your medical treatment play out.  When your attorney starts to negotiate your claim, you will want to make sure the attorney knows what your future medical needs will be.  This can take a substantial amount of time to determine.   This is the only way to ensure a fair settlement of your claim.

Free Information

If you have questions about your Florida accident case, you can download our Free Reports:

  1. What You Must Know if You Were in a Car Accident;

  2. The Ultimate Guide to Florida Slip and Fall Cases; and

  3. 5 Medical Mistakes That Will Destroy Your Personal Injury Case

which are available on our website, or you can click the link provided.  You can also contact us at (813)419-3866.

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