Why Does a Personal Injury Car Accident Case Take So Long?
It's a simple case - another driver ran a red light while texting, and crushed your car. So what is the hold-up with his insurance company?
In the beginning of any serious case we often see delays - people are often hospitalized or recovering from surgery, don't have the other driver's info or photographs, and can't get the police report.
Sometimes the other driver's insurance company can't find their driver to confirm what happened in the accident, but these usually get straightened out relatively quickly once we get involved.
We also see a lot of people who make the mistake of believing that the other driver's insurance will pay for their medical costs as they go through treatment, or think they can "use" the other driver's insurance, just like they would their own health insurance, to pay for their medical treatment. Sometimes they get this information from their doctor's office, friends, or family who are trying to be helpful.
But it doesn't work that way - if you can prove the other driver caused the accident or crash and hurt you, his insurance will usually offer to pay a settlement - but that is one amount at the end of the process. And part of the reason this may take time is due to the extent of your injuries. For example, if you had surgery and are recovering, you want to make sure you include all of the rehab costs (physical therapy, medications, follow-up doctor's visits) as part of the settlement.
Sometimes, after a serious injury, you may be better off waiting to try to settle your case, but not always - that will depend on the amount of the insurance coverage the other driver has, the amount of underinsured motorist coverage you have above that, whether you have health insurance to pay the medical bills, whether you have sick leave on your job, and the costs of the future treatment you need.
In serious injury cases, we can project the amount of life time medical care and costs, as well as future lost income, using experts in addition to doctors to assess the impact of your injuries, like life-care planners, vocational rehabilitation specialists, and economists.
Once an injury case is filed in DC, it will usually take about 18 months to get to trial, and there are sometimes continuances or extensions of time to accomodate the Court, expert witnesses, and other delays that are hard to control.
We think it's important to know what to expect, what will go on in your case, and how long it will take. Even though there are a lot of individual considerations, we can give a pretty good estimate on how long things take because we've done it so many times before (and this is probably your first time).
Give us a call today at (202) 393 - 3320 to talk about the specifics of your situation - we can set up a working strategy session that is free and confidential and will help you understand the process (and avoid the mistakes that will cost you money - the mistakes the insurance company knows people make over and over).