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Why is My Lawyer Taking So Long to Settle My Case? (2024)

Why is My Lawyer Taking So Long to Settle My Case?

Delays in reaching a settlement in a car accident or personal injury settlement case can be frustrating for all parties involved. Generally, settlements can take anywhere from a few months to several years to complete. However, the exact time it takes to reach a settlement in cases involving a personal injury or car accident varies widely depending on several factors such as how complex the case is, the seriousness of the injuries, willingness to negotiate, etc.

So, why is my lawyer taking so long to settle my case? Your lawyer might be taking so long to settle your case because of some common causes of delay such as disagreement over faults, legal or factual issues like insufficient evidence, court schedule delays, etc.

In case you need cash to settle your medical bills or other expenses while waiting for your settlement, our pre-settlement loans at Stonewood Funding can come in handy for you. Whether for personal injury loans or car accident loans, our online application is free and very fast, and you owe us nothing if you lose your case. Get started immediately by taking a few minutes to apply online now.

In this article, you’ll understand the different factors that can contribute to delays in settling a personal injury lawsuit or car accident settlement and what you can do to speed up the legal processes.

Top 7 Signs That Your Case is Taking Longer Than Necessary

Top 7 Signs That Your Case is Taking Longer Than Necessary

Sometimes, delays can be a normal part of the negotiation process, especially in a complicated personal injury lawsuit or car accident case. However, there are some scenarios when you need to pay attention to the signs of delays and address them to speed up the process. Such situations include:

1. Beyond the Regular Timeframes

If the settlement process is taking significantly longer than similar cases without a clear reason, it’s a red flag. While you should expect some delays in complicated cases, an excessive delay without an obvious reason may indicate a problem.

Request a detailed timeline from your personal injury attorney and ask for specific reasons for the delays. If you’re not satisfied with the explanations, consider digging deeper into the reasons or getting other alternatives.

2. Lack of Communication

If you’re not receiving updates on the status of your case or responses to your inquiries, it may suggest neglect. Schedule a meeting or call to discuss the status of your case and express your concerns about the lack of communication. If this does not improve, consider seeking alternative representation.

3. Incomplete or Incorrect Information

If you provide incorrect or insufficient information regarding details such as medical expenses, it may take some time to rectify. On the other hand, sometimes, constant requests for additional unnecessary documentation might be a sign of disorganization or delay tactics. So, keep a record of all documents and communications you send and receive. Clarify which specific documents are still needed and why, and consider involving a supervisor or manager if the issue persists.

4. Change in Case Representatives

Frequent changes in the personnel handling your case, whether it’s your personal injury lawyer or insurance adjuster, can lead to delays. Each new person needs time to become familiar with your case, which can slow down progress. Request a stable point of contact and express your concerns about the impact of these changes on your case.

5. Delayed Negotiations

If negotiations have not progressed for an extended period, it could be a cause for concern when there’s no clear strategy for moving forward. It may indicate a lack of effort or strategy on your representative’s part. Discuss with your attorney the reasons behind the stalled negotiations and ask about alternative strategies to move the case forward, such as mediation.

6. Completion of Medical Treatment

If there’s still no tangible progress towards a settlement after all your medical treatments related to the injury have been completed and all the necessary information has been provided to calculate damages, you should be concerned about the delay. Confirm with your attorney that they have all the necessary documentation.

7. Negligence to Legal Deadlines

If there are upcoming legal deadlines, such as the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit, and there appears to be no urgency to settle or take action, this is a significant concern. Missing these deadlines can forfeit your right to pursue compensation. Address the importance of these deadlines with your attorney and ensure they are taking the necessary steps to protect your rights.

Common Causes of Delays in the Settlement Process

Common Causes of Delays in the Settlement Process

From complex cases to the behavior of the parties involved, several factors can cause delays in both personal injury cases and car accident settlements. Understanding and addressing these factors proactively can help minimize delays in reaching a settlement. Some key factors include:

  1. Disagreement Over Fault or Value of Damages: One of the most significant sources of delay is disagreement over who is at fault or to what extent each party is liable. Solving this issue usually requires careful consideration, extensive negotiation, or additional evidence gathering, which prolongs the settlement process. Even when the fault is clear, parties may still disagree on the compensation amount. Disagreements over the valuation of damages, including future expenses, pain and suffering, and lost income, can significantly delay settlements in a personal injury case.
  2. Incomplete Evidence or Documentation: You need clear and comprehensive evidence such as medical records and financial documents to support your claim in settlement negotiations. Some of these documents take time to put together, especially if it involves third parties.
  3. Insurance Company Negotiations: Some insurance companies may intentionally delay the process as a tactic, hoping that the injured party will become impatient and agree to a lower settlement amount. They achieve this through lengthy reviews of the claim, slow responses to settlement offers, or requests for unnecessary documentation.
  4. Complexity of the Issues: If your case involves complex legal questions or scenarios, it can lead to delays. It takes time for both sides to analyze the issues and consider the implications for settlement. Also, disputes involving multiple parties usually take more time to reach an agreement that’s suitable for all parties involved.
  5. Financial Instability of a Party: If one party faces financial difficulties, this can impact their ability to pay the settlement or influence their negotiation strategy. This potentially leads to delays as they seek financing or adjust their expectations. If you need quick cash while processing your settlement, take advantage of our same-day pre-settlement loans to receive funding as quickly as possible.
  6. Changes in Legal Representation: If any of the parties change attorneys at any point, it may take some time for the new personal injury attorneys to get up to speed with the details of the case.
  7. Regulatory or Legal Approvals: Some settlements, especially those involving businesses or regulatory issues, may require approval from government agencies or compliance with specific legal requirements, adding time to the process.
  8. Court Schedules and Delays: If the settlement is part of court proceedings, court schedules, and procedural requirements can introduce delays, especially in jurisdictions with crowded court schedules.

The Unseen Obligations of Your Personal Injury Lawyer

The Unseen Obligations of Your Personal Injury Lawyer

Not all delays in a settlement case are working against you. Sometimes, you may experience seeming delays because your lawyer engages in many behind-the-scenes activities to secure a better and faster resolution for you. These efforts require detailed research, strategic planning, and negotiations.

For instance, your lawyer will collect all necessary evidence to support your personal injury claim. This includes police reports, medical records, witness statements, photos or video evidence of the accident scene, and any other documentation that can prove liability and damages.

They also conduct thorough legal research to understand the statutes, case law, and legal precedents relevant to your case. With the research, they find a legal basis for your claims and identify legal strategies that could maximize your compensation.

Moreover, your lawyer will work to accurately calculate the total damages due to you. This includes not just medical expenses and lost wages, but also non-economic damages like pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.

Much of your lawyer’s time will be spent in negotiations with the insurance company. They present your case in the strongest possible light, counter lowball offers, and work to reach a settlement that adequately compensates you for your losses.

Also, your lawyer will develop a comprehensive strategy for your personal injury claims. This might involve deciding whether to negotiate or litigate, determining the best timing for settlement discussions, and planning how to overcome potential challenges to your claim.

What You Can Do to Help Your Case

What You Can Do to Help Your Case

While your lawyer plays a vital role in speeding up your settlement, there are several actions you can take to support your case and help ensure a more favorable outcome. Some of them include:

Collect evidence relevant to your case. For personal injury cases, include photos of serious injuries and medical records. For car accident cases, gather evidence from the accident scene, police reports, and witness contacts.

Maintain detailed records of all medical treatment, expenses, and any costs related to your injury.

For maximum medical improvement, adhere strictly to your healthcare providers’ medical advice and treatment plans.

Keep a journal documenting your recovery, pain levels, and how the injury affects your daily life.

Inform your lawyer about any changes in your medical condition or personal circumstances that might affect your case.

Review all settlement offers with your lawyer to ensure they meet your current and future needs.

Exercise patience during settlement negotiations, as rushing can lead to accepting a lower offer.

Prepare for depositions or mediations with your lawyer’s guidance to improve your case’s outcome.

Stay organized by keeping all case-related documents and correspondence in one place.

Is your Settlement Taking too Long?

Delays in a legal process can be inevitable sometimes. What is important is that you’re able to identify the cause of the delay and address it accordingly. You must also understand that getting fair compensation takes time. So, as long as you’ve done your part, trust in the process and wait patiently for your settlement.

At Stonewood, we’re committed to making sure you do not suffer financial stress while waiting for your settlement. That’s why we provide pre-settlement loans with the best rates and top-notch customer service. Contact us today to discuss your case or simply apply online with a few simple clicks.

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