category: Car Accident Lawsuits,Car Accidents,Illinois Personal Injury Lawyers
Why do some personal injury settlements
take so much time?
Arguably the single biggest factor that influences how long it takes for you to receive a personal injury settlement is how extensive your injuries were. Smaller accidents with little or no physical injuries, and only minor cosmetic or body damage to a car, usually get settled fast because all parties can easily come to an agreement about the extent of the accident and any treatment or repairs required. The fact that many of these settlements are smaller is another reason why these settlements are so amicable. Insurance firms are commonly publically traded companies, after all, and want to avoid paying out huge sums of money as much as they possibly can.
However, after accidents that resulted in more severe injuries, settlements not only become bigger but also take more time to be agreed upon—and then finally paid. This is because of a few reasons, such as:
- Most personal injury lawyers will not write a settlement demand letter until you reach what is known as "maximum medical improvement", or MMI for short. Maximum medical improvement does not mean you will not need future care, but typically happens when an injured person's care has plateaued. We often say "you are as good as you are going to get" from your injuries. That does not mean you are completely healed or pain free, nor does it mean that you will not need more medical care, ongoing pain management or future medical care. This improves the amount a plaintiff can get in a settlement (as lawyers now not only know the full extent of a client's injuries, but also have all medical bills to produce a more accurate settlement figure) but naturally extends the time until settlement negotiations begin.
- When a personal injury lawsuit is first filed, each party can fully investigate the other side's legal claims, defense, and all pertinent evidence. This is called the "discovery phase" of a trial. It can easily last for a year or more, depending on court schedules and the complexity of a case.
- After the settlement has been agreed upon, it usually takes even more time for money to be in your pocket. Most settlements are processed in around six weeks, and then several standard deductions must be made. Expenses are first taken out to cover medical costs and certain legal costs. Your personal injury lawyer will then take a previously agreed amount (usually a percentage of the total) from the settlement as payment. Only after all outstanding bills, costs, and expenses have been paid will you then get your final settlement check.
Talk To Experienced Illinois Personal Injury Lawyers
At Hassakis & Hassakis, our top-rated Southern Illinois personal injury attorneys have served our communities for more than seven decades. We understand that every case we take is unique and that just because one of our clients gets a settlement quickly does not mean that your case will end the same way. Call us today at 800-533-3125 for answers to any question related to settlements, personal injury cases, or what you should do if you are ever in a car accident.