Usually people think that the insurer can control the amount of time required to settle a personal injury claim, but this is not the case. Most of the times insurers have no control over how long will it the personal injury claim take. Some people also think that insurers deliberately drag the procedure so that they don't have to make the payment soon, but this is also not the truth. In fact there are many different factors that decide how soon your personal injury claim will be settled by the insurer:
- Complexity of the case
- How severe your injuries are?
- The amount of time taken to get expert medical evidence
- Whether or not the insurer admits the liability for the accident
If you have almost recovered from your injuries by the time you go to a lawyer, and your claim is straightforward, then it should take about six months to conclude the claim. Many people might consider this also to be a fairly long period, but the paperwork required in a personal injury claim requires at least that much time.
Insurers usually get three months in which they can reply to the letter of claim sent to them by your lawyer. This reply will also express their point of view as far as liability is concerned. If the insurer admits liability, it is also possible to negotiate a settlement of the claim in many cases. However, if the insurer denies liability, the only course of action left to you is a court case.
In both cases it is important to get the necessary medical evidence. This evidence is in the form of an expert report compiled by a specialist. For instance, you need a report from an orthopedic surgeon if you have suffered a fracture. This evidence is necessary so that your solicitor can estimate the value of the claim related to your injuries and other elements. For instance, in some cases it is necessary to know the opinion of a medical expert regarding the time taken for recovery during which time you were unable to attend work resulting in loss of wages. The loss of wages in this case will be calculated based on the expert opinion.
To get the maximum benefit from such a report it is necessary that you should have recovered to a great extent, so that the medical expert can provide a reasonably accurate prognosis including your future capacity to work. If on the other hand this decision of the medical expert is based on a lot of speculation then there are more chances that you will end up with a premature settlement of the claim. This increases the risk of getting much less money in the settlement of the claim than the actual value. Once a claim is finalized there is no way to ask the insurer for more compensation. Hence it is necessary that you file your claim at the right time. A good lawyer will be able to guide on this aspect. David Marocci from Paramount Lawyers stated "There are many cases when the future of people is in the game (e.g. evicted and not being able to afford the mortgage payment), so often it goes beyond the legal representation and there is a need to move very quickly to obtain the best possible result."