Why Personal Injury Cases Can Take Years to Settle
Why is it taking so long for my case to settle? How long will it take to resolve if we file suit?
No matter where you are in the process of fighting your personal injury case, it’s normal to have questions like these along the way, especially if your case seems to be taking more time than you may have expected.
There are many factors that can cause a personal injury case to take time, such as the extent or severity of your injuries, establishing negligence, dealing with the busy health care system, or the clogged court system and the other lawyers and players involved.
Because of the sheer number of factors involved in personal injury suits, some cases are resolved quickly while others are not. It would be wonderful if cases were definite like a math equation, but they never are. Instead, cases are like sports: unpredictable and involving lots of moving parts. No two are ever just alike and there is no way to know ahead of time what the outcome is going to be. You cannot easily predict how things are going to turn out, as the beginning of the game might be drastically different than the end.
In the Event of an Injury
A personal injury case, of course, begins with an injury. Let’s say you were in a car accident.
You know the crash happened and you know you were hurt as a result. Your injuries at the scene might not seem that bad. Adrenaline (and anger or fear) can mask the pain. However, a few hours later, you might begin to feel worse. Three days later you might feel like a different person. As time goes by the pain might intensify and you might learn that you have injuries that, thanks to modern medicine and/or your body’s natural adrenaline reaction, you were unaware of at the crash scene. Those injuries could deeply impact you in ways you didn’t know about and could require medical care that you were not aware was going to be necessary for months or even years.
Pursuing a Case
In our car crash scenario, let’s say a teenager on his phone smashed into you from behind. He was to blame for the crash and received a ticket. When your injuries manifest, he is the one you would think to approach about your injuries.
Well, it can actually be much more complicated than that. Technically, it is the insurance company that insures the teenage driver that handles paying for your injuries. But this can get even more complicated, particularly with a younger driver.
What if he is on his parents’ insurance? What if he is driving a car that is owned by someone else? That is what we, at the Arnold Law Group spend a significant amount of time investigating in personal injury cases: Who is the responsible party when it comes to a Negligence claim? Was the negligent driver working when he caused your injury? How do we prove he was distracted when he plowed into the back of you? Did he admit it at the scene? Will his cell records show he was on his phone? What about the traffic camera at the intersection or the city owned IRIS camera? Does the business on the corner have security cameras that might have caught the accident as it happened? Did anyone witness it, and if so, can we find them using social media?
Why Cases Take Time
Hospitals and courthouses have a lot in common. Most people only visit because they have to. Think about it––if you exclude getting married and having a baby, there aren’t many other positive things that people go to either establishment for. Some people would even say ‘once you go in, you don’t come out!’
One thing hospitals and courthouses definitely have in common is how busy and backed up they frequently are. Nothing is happening in a hurry at either location. Plus, thanks to the pandemic, any business you have at either location is taking 2-3 times longer than it was before, and it wasn’t a speedy process to begin with. Many would describe a snail’s pace as supersonic compared to the healthcare and court systems these days. This is one reason cases are taking even longer than before the pandemic.
Another facet that can affect the speed of your case is, as we said, other lawyers and players involved in the case. Insurance companies employ lawyers, and the more the lawyers bill, the more money they make. Simple as that. Time equals money for insurance companies and their lawyers. They aren’t like injury lawyers. They don’t get paid like we do. We get paid when we win your case. We get paid when we make you money, which is not the case for them. They get paid as long as they keep from paying you money, plain and simple. Every time they do just about anything––send an email, file a paper, draft a document, review a record––they get to bill for it and get paid. The longer they draw a case out, the more they get paid. That’s why they don’t mind letting your case drag on for 5 or 6 years. It just means more time for them to bill and make money.
Fighting for YOU
At Arnold Law Group, our job isn’t to drag out your case. Actually, it’s quite the opposite. Our job is to pursue your case with as much efficiency as possible, while also offering you the support you need both in and out of the courthouse. We work hard to find the evidence we need to win your case and help you receive the compensation you deserve for whatever injury you may have sustained, whether that be a car accident or any other kind of personal injury.
If you are in Orlando or Pensacola and have recently suffered an injury, we want to help! Give us a call at (407) 246-1950 for help in Orlando or (850) 979-4-ALG for help in Pensacola.