December 27th, 2012|
If you have ever been injured in a car accident, you know firsthand about the frustrating path toward physical and financial recovery. The process involves going to numerous doctor’s appointments, getting your vehicle appraised and fixed, missing work or school, making arrangements for childcare, meeting with an attorney, going to court, and usually worst of all, dealing with the other driver’s insurance company. If you have followed this path, through no fault of your own, I’m sure you simply wished it would resolve as quickly as possible so that life may return to normal.
So it is only natural to ask the question, how long before my case settles?
Unfortunately, there is no formula your attorney can follow to answer that question. A study from the US Department of Justice determined that the average length of an automobile accident case was 20 months. However, every case is unique and has its own, mostly unpredictable, timetable. The length of the claim depends upon many factors, including:
- The amount of investigation necessary to prove your case;
- The length of time it takes you to recover from your injuries and complete your medical treatment;
- How quickly your hospitals and doctors send in their medical records and bills once they have been requested;
- Whether your medical bills were paid by a government insurance program like Medicaid or Medicare;
- How much time the judge allows on his or her docket before the trial.
To complicate matters, many insurance companies intentionally slow down the claim, prolonging your frustration, for their own financial benefit. It is well known that insurance companies delay, deny and defend claims in order to maximize profits. From the insurance company’s perspective, the purpose of delaying a claim is to put you in a world of increasing debt. Medical expenses accumulate quickly. Then bill collectors begin calling. Soon after that, your credit score is affected or even ruined. After a few months, the insurance company knows that you are in such a state of financial desperation that you will accept even the most low ball settlement offer. By design, the insurance company saves thousands of dollars at your expense simply by delaying the claim.
At Nurenberg Paris, we understand the complicated litigation process and the insurance industry’s delay tactics. While no attorney can promise a particular result at a particular time, we recognize that time is of the essence when you have suffered a physical and financial injury. For this reason, we have a system in place to prevent delays from stalling your case. Our system has a single mission: to obtain the best recovery in the
shortest amount of time.
David A. Herman is an associate attorney at Nurenberg Paris. His practice focuses primarily on automobile collision litigation.