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Factors that Delay a Personal Injury Settlement

Any bodily injury creates financial strain on accident victims and their families. The cost of medical treatment has ballooned over the past 20 years, and even victims with health insurance could struggle to pay what they owe. Add in an inability to work and/or property damage, and many people call our law firm in a panic. They need money—now.

Ideally, you can settle your personal injury case in a few months. The person who injured you in a motor vehicle wreck or premises liability claim should acknowledge fault and then write a generous check to cover your expenses. Sadly, this is not the reality for many victims. Instead, they struggle to get the other side to take their claim seriously, and even months of negotiation don’t get them any closer to a fair and equitable settlement.

Call Stewart Miller Simmons Trial Attorneys. An Atlanta personal injury lawyer with our firm can meet for a frank discussion about your legal rights following an accident. Below, we identify the most common reasons why settlements are delayed, and how we fight for our injured clients.

5 Reasons Why Settlements Are Delayed

1.Disagreement Over Responsibility

By far, the biggest impediment to a prompt settlement is a disagreement about what happened. In Georgia, you can demand someone else pay compensation if you can show they share most of the blame for the accident which injured you.

Consider a car collision. You are rolling through an intersection when a motorist runs a red light and crashes into you, sending you to the hospital. You think this is an open and shut case: you had a green light, the other driver had a red light, and he crashed into your car because he failed to yield.

Only later are you shocked to hear the other driver claim he had the green light and you ran the red! Because he doesn’t think he is at fault, he won’t agree to pay any compensation. This type of dispute happens more than you would believe.

When both sides have different stories, your personal injury lawyer needs to dig into the evidentiary record. We will need to talk to more witnesses and search for physical evidence. We might even ask the other driver questions under oath to really figure out their story.

Sometimes, disagreements regarding fault are never resolved. Instead, the only choice is to file a personal injury lawsuit and present the case to a jury. Let them decide.

2.Shady Insurance Tactics

Some insurance companies are not eager to settle—even when the facts are clear about what happened. Instead, these insurers will lose paperwork, avoid returning calls, and delay any investigation. This type of delay is illegal in Georgia. Insurers must treat everyone in good faith. Sadly, some of them delay to pressure a victim to settle.

You should hire an Atlanta personal injury lawyer to represent you. Once they see you’ve “lawyered up,” some insurers will realize you mean business and drop the charade. They will come to the bargaining table in good faith and offer fair compensation. If not, then our firm can remind them of their obligations. We might even prepare a bad faith insurance claim against the insurer!

3.Questions about Your Injuries

In the typical personal injury case, we seek damages for:

  • Medical care
  • Property damage (like car repairs)
  • Lost wages/income
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress

Generally, the more serious your injuries, the more pain and mental anguish you will experience. However, the other side might believe you are exaggerating your suffering. They might not have any proof, but that won’t stop them from alleging you’re making a big deal out of minor injuries.

Consequently, they might offer only a tiny amount for pain, mental anguish, and losses like that. When defendants take this attitude, we need more time to convince them of your pain and mental distress.

4.Extended Treatment for Serious Injuries

There are sometimes good reasons to delay settlement. For example, you might be so badly hurt that you need years of rehabilitation and treatment before you even get back to something like your old self. Before negotiating, your legal team might want to fully understand how much money you have lost for medical treatment and lost income. If we settled too soon, for example, then you might end up with not enough money for medical care and lost wages. This is one situation where we might recommend slowing down the settlement process.

5.Failure to Prove Legal Team with Evidence

Unfortunately, a personal injury victim can delay their own settlement negotiations by not providing requested info in a timely manner. For example, we might need to share with the other side the names of each medical provider you met with, along with a list of dates of treatment. You should get this information to your legal team as soon as possible. Any delay will simply delay a settlement.

How We Speed Up Negotiations

Stewart Miller Simmons Trial Attorneys can negotiate a settlement on your behalf. We have successfully obtained hundreds of millions of dollars for injured victims, and we know how to negotiate. We can:

  • Gather as much evidence ahead of time about what happened;
  • Identify the correct defendant(s) so we can begin negotiating quickly;
  • Present evidence in a logical manner that convinces even skeptical insurance adjusters;
  • Powerfully document your pain and emotional distress;
  • Complete all forms for insurance companies to facilitate their investigation;
  • Poke holes in the defense side of the story, showing how you are not to blame for your injuries;
  • File a lawsuit to preserve your rights before the statutory deadline.

Our firm has experience with mediation and other techniques for bringing contending sides together to find mutual ground.

Call Our Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyers

If you call (404) 529-3476, we can schedule a time to meet. In a consultation, we’ll gain a stronger idea of how you were injured and discuss possible compensation. We never charge a dime unless we end up winning your case, so there’s little risk to setting up a free consultation.

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