Why do lawsuits take so long to settle?
In our experience, the average personal injury lawsuit takes approximately 18 months to be resolved from the time the accident occurred. Lawsuits are a lengthy process between two parties. The plaintiff wants to get the maximum amount of compensation while the defendant wants to pay as little as possible.
There are generally two routes your personal injury claim can take to a settlement. The claim can either reach a settlement Pre-Litigation or by Litigation.
- Accident occurs
- Seek medical attention
- Consult and retain an attorney
- Attorney makes contact with the at-fault’s insurance provide
- After your treatment is completed, they will attempt to negotiate a settlement.
- If a settlement can be agreed upon, plaintiff signs a release and payment is issued.
- If a settlement cannot be reached, the litigation process begins.
- Discovery begins: documents, photos, etc. will be exchanged.
- Depositions: an interview by opposing counsel about the details surrounding the accident.
- IME: Independent Medical Examination – an independent doctor will review your injuries and treatment to insure the accuracy.
- Mediation and/or Arbitration – meetings between plaintiff & defendant with a 3rd party who attempts to find a settlement.
- Trial – if a settlement cannot be reach, a trial is required. A trial is the final step unless there are grounds for an appeal by either side.
Often the plaintiff who is out of work due to injuries will drain any savings they had while they await their settlement. This gives the upper hand to the defendant, usually an insurance company, with deep pockets. Under the right circumstances, pre-settlement funding can be a tremendous asset for the plaintiff allowing them to level the playing field against the insurance company. A pre-settlement advance buys time for the plaintiff to meet their needs until they are offered a fair settlement.