A common question clients may ask their lawyer is, “how long will my claim take?” In optimal circumstances, the answer every lawyer would like to give would be "within 15 months." However, this particular outcome is rarely the case when it comes to dealing with a personal injury claim. This is especially true if the injuries are serious or catastrophic.
Unfortunately the hype from popular TV shows such as ‘Suits’ gives many clients the impression that a settlement can occur within days of a civil wrong being committed. Further, clients may make reference to the ‘glory days’ decades ago when claims may have been resolved faster. Yet, personal injury law has gone through extensive reform over the years. It is important for clients to understand the complexities that arise from a personal injury claim and how seeking the advice from an accredited specialist in personal injury can mitigate these delays.
Understand the insurance staff: they are people just like us
An insurance adjuster may receive between 60 – 100 claims a month on their desk that they will have to eventually settle. Often, their performance will be gauged based on how effectively they can resolve these claims without having supervisors or lawyers intervene. As such, if a claims adjuster can justify the value of a claim then it is in their best interest to resolve it. They will need to settle 60-100 claims a month just to break even with their workload.
A significant cause of delay may involve the process of dealing with an adjuster. Often, a claimant may not understand the law or the process in dealing with their accident claim or injuries. To an adjuster’s eyes, this is a ‘red flag’ when it comes to settlement because it means that the claimant’s injuries may not have been properly assessed, the claimant might be lying about something, or there is more information needed about the circumstances before a settlement can be reached.
In particular, it is important to seek out a personal injury lawyer who has experience in both plaintiff and insurance defence. Their knowledge of ‘both sides of the story’ may allow them to better handle the arguments made by the insurance companies and their lawyers in order to speed up resolution of your claim.
Claimants who try to handle a personal injury accident claim on their own may make errors in the processes and handling of their claim. Personal injury law is a complex area of law that can be confusing, frustrating and if taken lightly, costly to your health and ability to claim compensation. An adjuster may also make similar mistakes considering the significant volume of work that they are expected to handle and the possibility that they may not have as much legal training as a lawyer. Thus, delays may arise from human error on both sides.
It is important to seek representation when it comes to a personal injury matter such as a motor vehicle accident or workers compensation claim. Not only is the stress of the process an issue, but so is the frustration of dealing with an injury and its impact on your life and family. If pursuing a claim alone, this may lead to more errors in documentation and going through the legal process that can bring delays to your claim’s resolution. At worst, a mistake could be made that can seriously affect the amount of compensation you receive.
Knowing when to settle
Many clients demand a quick settlement. However, to do so according to their particular timelines may mean settling for less than what their claim is worth. A common misunderstanding that clients make about their injury claim is that they forget about the legal process and their rights to take the matter to court.
An insurance company operates as a business. A large factor of their profitability is resolving matters for less than what a claimant may believe they are worth. The issue of what is ‘fair’ can be a difficult standard to reach between an insurance company and a claimant. It is this very issue that can cause significant delays in a claim.
The courts exist to make a judgment on what is ‘fair’ according to the law. The option to pursue this is a time consuming option, but nonetheless exists as an alternative to dealing with an offer for settlement that either party is unwilling to take.
Very few claimants can correctly assess what their claim is worth. It is imperative that you speak with an accredited specialist in personal injury to handle these kinds of matters. NEVER accept a lump sum offer from an insurance company for your claim without speaking to a personal injury lawyer.
Compensation for injuries can add up to a substantial amount when properly assessed by a personal injury lawyer. Medical expenses, pain and suffering, future income loss, loss of consortium, etc. are only some areas where damages can be claimed.
Of course, an insurance company would be reluctant to pay this amount unless there was evidence to substantiate it. Medical evidence to prove the extent of an injury is time consuming and may require visits to the doctor, assessments to be made and also personal time off to follow the doctor’s instructions, take treatments, etc.
Delays may often be caused due to the gathering of medical evidence, especially if the injuries or illnesses are significant and critical. And injury or illness may require numerous reports, multiple treatments and analysis on its effect in relation to the claimant’s life such as their ability to work, their pain and suffering, how it is affecting them mentally and emotionally, etc.
While this process cannot be avoided, it can often be alleviated by the assistance of a personal injury law firm that can help schedule these appointments, gather all the medical evidence, and analyse them in conjunction with the law to determine an appropriate amount for settlement of your personal injury claim.
You Do Not Have to Be Alone
Often, delays in a personal injury claim simply arise because a claimant is reluctant or fearful of asking for help in their claim. It is important that you consider your well being, as well as your family’s future concerns with respect to your injury when making a decision about your legal rights. This may most likely point you in the direction of speaking with a personal injury lawyer to advise you on your rights to compensation and help you make an informed decision on what steps to take next.
East Coast Injury Lawyers can help you during this difficult time by offering a free consultation so that you can get the valuable advice you need at no risk. Do not delay in speaking with an accredited specialist in personal injury today about your accident and your legal rights to compensation.