How Long Does it Take to Settle a Case?
Many of our clients are suffering debilitating injuries that prevent them from working and earning money. All have medical bills that are usually much higher than they could have imagined. Unsurprisingly, our clients ask a common question, “How long does it take to settle a case?”
The answer is “it depends.” Not all cases are the same, and different factors can speed up or slow down the negotiation process. Our Indianapolis personal injury attorney reviews some of the most important.
Is Fault in Dispute?
Indiana is a fault state, so insurance companies need to identify who is at fault for the collision. Fault can also be shared, which can also impact the settlement.
In certain accidents, fault is crystal clear. For example, the other driver might have been captured on video running a red light and slamming into you, or the driver possibly admitted that he was at fault. However, in other cases, fault is in dispute. For instance, two vehicles might have collided when one tried to merge on the highway. One driver could claim there was sufficient room while the other denies it.
Insurers typically interview all relevant witnesses and have an adjuster inspect the car and the accident scene. Determining fault could take months.
Have Your Injuries Healed?
Many of our clients receive compensation for medical bills. However, it’s important to identify the full cost of medical care for your injuries, which means that we often wait until a client has achieved maximum medical improvement. This might be the point at which they are their “old self,” or it could be the point where any additional medical care will not improve their condition.
Very serious injuries can take a year or more to heal, so we might need to wait until your medical expenses are fully known before negotiating a settlement in earnest. Talk to your attorney if you have questions about how they calculate medical expenses.
Is the Other Side Being Reasonable?
We can often settle a case for a favorable sum of money fairly quickly if the other side is negotiating in good faith. Unfortunately, that does not always happen. Insurers sometimes dig in their heels and deny claims or try to nickel and dime our client by making a lowball initial offer. The less reasonable the other side is being, the longer it takes to reach a settlement.
In extreme cases, an insurer might refuse to settle at all, which leaves us with no choice but to go into court and file a lawsuit for compensation. Litigation can add many months of delay before our clients receive the money they are entitled to.
Speed Up Your Case by Calling Us
Waiting for a settlement can be agonizing, but the lawyers at Keffer Hirschauer, LLP have built our reputation providing effective representation to those injured in car and other accidents. We can negotiate a favorable settlement by collecting relevant evidence and presenting it in an effective manner. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.