Most personal injury claims do not make it to trial, as they are settled beforehand, often with an insurance company. However, sometimes insurance companies refuse to make an offer the victim and his or her attorney will accept and filing a lawsuit is a last resort.
It is important to remember the insurance company’s goal is to pay out as little compensation as possible. They will continue trying to do that if you file a lawsuit.
Below, we discuss some of the insurance company’s strategies for delaying a trial and why delays hurt the victim/plaintiff.
If you were injured in an accident caused by another’s negligence, our law firm may be able to help you seek the compensation you need for your injuries and other damages. Contact us today to schedule your free legal consultation to learn how we may be able to help you.
How Insurers Try to Delay the Legal Process
Insurance companies will be looking to delay the process long before a trial starts. For example, they may try to drag out the discovery process. This happens before a trial begins and it involves both sides requesting more information about the case.
For example, they may provide hundreds or thousands of pages of documents to the victim’s Harrisburg personal injury attorney. It can take a long time to get through these documents to find information that is relevant to the case. This can potentially drag out the discovery process.
There are various motions insurance companies can file in court to attempt to delay the process. For example, the defense in an injury case can file a motion to dismiss. This is a motion for the court to simply dismiss the claim. Sometimes the victim and his or her attorney must redraft their complaint to deal with this motion.
The insurance company could file this motion even if they know it will fail. In fact, the likelihood of this type of motion succeeding may not even enter their thinking when they decide to file the motion.
Another way to delay a case is to file a motion to change forum. This is a motion to move the case to a different court.
Insurance companies will aggressively defend their interests. That means they may file motions to exclude some evidence to try to make it easier for them to defend themselves. Insurance companies may also file motions to apply various restrictions to a case in hopes of delaying the process.
Even if these motions lack merit, it will take time and effort for victims and their attorneys to fight them, delaying a resolution of the legal process.
While most personal injury claims involve insurance companies, some might not. In these situations, at-fault parties could delay the process by avoiding getting served a notice of the lawsuit. They may work hard at avoiding being served by a process server.
You may think the case is resolved once the jury reaches a verdict. That is often true, however, the defense could still file an appeal, and this may result in the verdict being stayed until the appeal is resolved. It could take months or longer to resolve an appeal, depending on when the appeal can be heard.
Insurance companies have gone through many civil trials. They are just as familiar with the legal process as the attorneys who go against them. Insurance companies know what they want to do to attempt to delay the process.
Stretching the process out can make victims more desperate for compensation as they watch medical bills and other expenses pile up. Insurance companies hope desperation will cause the victim to accept a settlement for much less than the full value of the claim, even if there is a strong case and the victim may be able to obtain more money.
Call Today to Learn More About Your Legal Options
Filing a claim and dealing with the insurance company on your own is a lot to ask. The insurance company would prefer that you try to deal with the situation alone because they know attorneys often recover more compensation.
At Schmidt Kramer, we have been recovering compensation for injury victims for decades and there are no upfront fees for our services. We are here to answer your questions and discuss how we may be able to help you during this difficult time.
Contact Schmidt Kramer today. We are ready to help. (717) 727-2550