Our clients ask this question often, and unfortunately there is no one-size-fits-all answer. However, we can provide some insight on how a personal injury case works, and what’s really happening when it feels like things are proceeding slowly.
In a typical personal injury action, there are several factors that can influence the time it takes to resolve or settle your case.
Your physical injuries and recovery time
It’s never advisable to settle your case until you have fully healed from your injuries, or reached maximum medical improvement (MMI). MMI means you have recovered as best as you possibly can from your injuries. After reaching MMI, your attorney can more accurately assess the physical and financial scope of your injuries. Although insurance companies may want to use a calculator to do so, taking the time to see how your injuries will fully affect you means proper and complete compensation for your damages and losses.
Insurance company delays and disputes
The insurance company may be one of the biggest holdups to your personal injury case. Although the insurance company purports to work for you, it’s no secret that their job is to keep their payouts as low as possible to keep their profit margin high. One way they do this is by drawing out the process as long as they can in hopes that you may take an unfair settlement just to get it over with.
For most people, a serious injury can throw them into financial chaos. One car accident can turn a stable financial situation into a dire one, and the insurance company knows this. As expenses begin piling up, many injury victims begin feeling the heaviness of debt and any settlement feels like a good settlement. Your attorney works directly with the insurance company on your behalf to cut directly through this red tape.
Tennessee uses the modified comparative negligence system when assigning fault. If a judge or jury finds you 50 percent or more responsible for your injuries, you are barred from receiving damages. The defendant’s insurance company or counsel will make every effort to put the liability on you in an effort to escape responsibility. However, an experienced attorney can show that you did not cause your own injuries.
Full extent of your damages
The more extensive your injuries and losses, the longer your case will take. With more serious injuries, MMI takes longer, and it also takes time to calculate the entirety of your financial damages and pain and suffering. Further, in high-value cases, many defense attorneys and insurance companies will launch separate and independent investigations, which can further delay the resolution of your case.
One thing you can rely on is that the Maryville personal injury attorneys at Shepherd & Long, P.C. will keep you informed every step of the way. If you were injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, get in touch with us for experienced legal help. Call our East Tennessee office at 865-982-8060 or complete a contact form online to schedule a consultation today.