Each personal injury claim is unique, and the amount of time it takes from beginning to end depends on many factors. However, there are certain issues that can cause claims to take longer to resolve.
In a free consultation, an experienced Harrisburg personal injury lawyer at Schmidt Kramer can explain common reasons why insurance claims are delayed. We can answer your other legal questions and determine how we may be able to assist you.
Insurance Company Delays
Some delays are caused by the insurance company. For example, some insurance companies handle claims more quickly than others.
Another factor that often makes claims take longer to resolve is negotiating. It is common for insurance companies to quickly offer a low settlement in hopes the victim will take it. If the client is represented by a personal injury lawyer, the lawyer can negotiate for a higher settlement amount.
The personal injury lawyer and insurance company may go back and forth with offers and counteroffers until they reach a settlement, which could take weeks or months.
Disputes Over Liability
If there is a dispute about who was at fault, or if the insurance adjuster believes there is an argument proving the defendant is not liable, it may increase the amount of time it takes to resolve the claim.
If the insurance company will not agree the defendant is at fault, the claim may have to be litigated in court. Going to court might also be necessary if multiple parties are involved in a single accident and they each blame others for the accident.
In other cases, the victim may be partially to blame for the accident. The insurance company may determine your percentage of fault and reduce its settlement offer award accordingly. If you or your attorney dispute this, there may be a delay in resolving your claim.
Length of Treatment
Your personal injury lawyer may not want to settle your case or even begin negotiating a settlement until you have fully recovered or reached maximum medical improvement.
Maximum medical improvement means that you have recovered as much as you are going to, even if you have not completely healed. At this point, your doctors have a much better idea of any future treatment needs because your condition has stabilized. Your lawyer is also in a better position to accurately estimate your future medical expenses.
If your injuries do not take long to treat, your lawyer will be able to commence settlement negotiations sooner.
Obtaining Medical Records
Your medical records are a very important piece of evidence in your case that can link your injuries to the accident. Your personal injury lawyer may ask you to sign a medical release so that he or she can obtain these important records.
Your medical provider should send your records after receiving this request. However, some medical providers may claim they did not see the request or take several weeks to respond, which could delay the resolution of your insurance claim.
Call a Licensed Lawyer for Assistance
The insurance claims process is stressful and complicated, particularly without experienced legal representation. You are also dealing with an injury, loss of income from missed time at work and mounting medical bills.
When you are in this situation, it is often a good idea to discuss things with a qualified legal professional who has experience resolving claims for injury victims. The experienced legal team at Schmidt Kramer can answer your questions in a free consultation and guide you through the legal process, if we take your case and you choose to be represented by us.
Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation case review. (717) 888-8888