No two car crashes are the same, which means no two car crash claims are the same. Even if two victims have similar injuries, one victim may recover quicker than another. Some people do not respond as well to treatment as others.
The severity of the victim’s injuries is another factor that affects the length of time it takes to reach a settlement. Typically, the more severe the injury, the longer it takes the victim to reach maximum medical improvement (MMI), which is the point when the victim’s attorney starts negotiating a settlement.
While the insurance company is often pushing for the quickest resolution possible, settlements offered so early in the process are likely to be for far less than the full value of the claim. Victims should strongly consider meeting with a licensed attorney to discuss their claim.
At Galloway Jefcoat, we are committed to pursuing maximum compensation, and we know this can take months or more. However, you need an experienced attorney, as victims who hire attorneys often recover more compensation compared to those without legal representation.
Schedule your free consultation today. Call (866) 320-4770.
How Long Does It Take to Resolve Most Claims?
While every case is unique, many car crash claims are resolved within three to six months. Some cases are resolved sooner than others because victims recover more quickly, and their attorneys have an easier time calculating the full value of the claim. Some claims take longer because the recovery period is longer or other issues pop up that stretch out the settlement process.
The Importance of Maximum Medical Improvement
MMI is the point when the victim’s injury has either fully healed or has healed as much as it is likely to heal. While the victim may continue to receive treatment, and this treatment may be recommended by the patient’s doctor, it is unlikely the victim will make any significant improvements.
For example, victims who have limited mobility because of their injury, but have been classified as having reached MMI by their doctor, are unlikely to regain mobility with further treatment. They may benefit from further treatment to maintain the mobility they have or to manage other symptoms.
The reason why MMI is an important checkpoint in an injury claim is that this is the point when doctors and attorneys can assess the victim’s future treatment needs. They can also add up the medical expenses he or she has already incurred to treat the injury.
It is very difficult to determine the victim’s future treatment needs without knowing the limitations he or she will be left with because of the injury. Once the healing stops, these needs can be assessed.
Even though the insurance company may be pushing to have you agree to a settlement before you reach MMI, agreeing to it is a bad idea. You are likely to be left without all the compensation you need for ongoing expenses, like lost earning capacity and medical bills. You may also not receive full compensation for noneconomic damages like pain and suffering.
Factors That Can Make a Claim Last Longer
The longer it takes to reach MMI, the longer a claim is likely to take, but this is just one factor that can make it take longer to resolve a claim.
Car insurance companies are likely to fight hard to deny or underpay a claim for a permanent or long-term injury. These claims are often worth a lot of money, and insurance companies are committed to their bottom line, not paying out full compensation for your damages.
What this means is the claim could take much longer to resolve. The insurance company may stick to a lowball offer, dragging out the negotiating process.
The insurance company is likely to carefully investigate every aspect of the case to look for reasons to deny or undervalue your claim. They want to find some reason to claim your injuries are not as severe as your attorney and doctors claim. They want to find some reason to attack your credibility. For example, they may carefully analyze every statement you have made to look for contradictions.
The insurance company must also consider whether it could defend itself in court. How strong is their claim they are not liable or that your claim is worth less than you say it is?
Another goal of all this investigating is to delay the process, in the hope you will get desperate for compensation and accept less than the full value of your claim.
If the insurance company feels they have a legitimate dispute about fault for the crash, they may try to delay the claim. For example, they may deny the claim or stick to a lowball offer. They want to make things take as long as possible to give your attorney less time to file a lawsuit. There is a statute of limitations that limits the amount of time in which you must file a lawsuit.
It is important to avoid admitting fault for a crash and allow your attorney to handle this issue. Discuss it with him or her and he or she can determine if you should be assigned any amount of fault for the crash.
Call Galloway Jefcoat to Discuss Possible Legal Options
Our firm is here to assist you in pursuing full compensation for your car crash injuries. We have been helping crash victims for more than 25 years and have a proven track record, having recovered millions in compensation on their behalf.
Visit our client reviews page to see what our clients have to say about their experience working with our firm. We are committed to your best interests throughout the legal process, and we do not charge upfront fees.
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