There are a number of reasons a lawsuit can take too long to settle. You – and your attorney control some of them. Here are things that slow the process down, and what you can do about them.
You’re still having pain
Good lawyers are often reluctant to recommend settlement if you aren’t completely healed, or if more medical treatment is likely.
Why? Because the settlement will require you to release your right to sue; once you have done this, you can’t go back and file another lawsuit if you need more surgery, or your recovery takes much longer than expected.
What can you do? Follow your doctor’s advice, so you can get better. Or if the doctor says you are not going to get any better, make sure your lawyer knows that is what the doctor thinks.
The Insurance Company Doesn’t Know Enough.
You and your attorney, working together, can overcome this.
People make false claims; so insurance companies want to review your personal medical records – both before and after the accident – to see whether you sustained your injuries in the accident or before.
Insurance companies review employment records, to verify any claim of lost wages. They want to see the medical bills you are claiming. They might want a letter from your doctor saying that your injury was caused by the accident, and what treatment will be required for you to completely heal.
Often, the simplest thing is to get the records, review them, and then give the insurance company what it wants. I do this all the time for my clients. More often than not, the information I learn helps my client.
Somebody on the Other Side – The Insurance Company’s Attorney, or the Adjuster – Isn’t Taking the Case Seriously.
Sometimes it’s difficult to know whether the insurance company is not taking you seriously or whether they just disagree with your evaluation, and are using delay to “punish you” for asking for more than they think the case is worth.
One approach is to try to provide information that will motivate settlement. If it scares the insurance company, that is even better.
A “settlement video” showing the effect of the accident on your life, when prepared by a professional, can be very effective in breaking a logjam. So can a calculation of economic damages, prepared by an economist. These techniques are both fairly expensive, but in a high damages case, they are worth it.
Sometimes a mediation can be scheduled – this can be very useful in learning what the other side is thinking, why they don’t view the case the same as you do, and what you may be able to do to change their mind.
And finally, if nothing else works, you can file suit, and ask for a trial date.
I have been a lawyer over 30 years, I am always thinking about how to get money for my clients faster. If you want to know more about how to get the insurer to play ball, why not speak with an experienced Cincinnati Injury Lawyer – call me, William Strubbe, at 513-621-4775 in Cincinnati.
Because all situations are different, and because there may be other facts pertaining to your case that I don’t know about, you should not rely on this answer for legal advice. I am not your attorney, and no lawyer client relationship has been formed.