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Being a personal injury attorney in Suffolk and Nassau County, Long Island for over 20 years very often do I get asked…
I wish I had a simple cookie cutter answer, but there isn’t one. Every case is different and some many things factor in that extend or speed up the process. There are many reasons why some cases are resolved quickly, while others drag on for years.
Some of the reasons are literally hidden from you. Tricks by insurance companies or defendants to make you settle for less is nothing new – and we feel you deserve to know them.
All medical documentation should be considered before being resolved. So if the person is still receiving treatment, the case will not yet be settled. This is important because pain and suffering and mental anguish are contributing factors for money that a person is entitled to receive for their personal injury, and waiting until treatment is completed means the best accurate compensation.
Settling a case before someone is physically better can be risky because healing from an injury is unpredictable. Sometimes there are setbacks, complications or even unexpected surgery. If a case settles, all the pains, physical and emotional, from the injury are documented. And likely, the plaintiff will end up being short-changed as respects to the amount of money they actually need for all of the pain, suffering and mental anguish.
Unfortunately, some injuries will never recover completely. But this doesn’t mean the case will never end. In these instances, it’s important that the person reaches maximum medical recovery before the case is settled. Often times an expert is needed to determine the extent of pain and suffering in the future as well as the costs of the medical treatment that goes along with it. They may also determine future lost wages when the personal injury is permanent.
It’s always a good idea for the victim’s lawyer to use the time wisely by building the case. This is where accident investigation, gathering of witness statements and consultation with experts should coincide with the recovery of the injured party. Capitalizing on this time will reduce delays and speed up the process of the case.
The defense also plays a key role in the resolution of any case, and this is another reason why a case might be delayed. The defendant might be unwilling to discuss a settlement, and this can cause a serious delay in resolution. This can happen for two reasons:
When the insurance company is delaying settlement, this often results in “protracted litigation”. Protracted litigation is when a case has to now make its way through the court system, possibly all the way to a trial date. As you may have guessed, this is both costly and time consuming. However, having a skilled personal injury attorney can reduce that delay time using aggressive litigation tactics such as a motion for proactive order and/or a motion for a summary judgement, halting endless discovery demands from defense counsel.
There are however, multiple stages during litigation that have to happen before the case can be tried.
Now, that protracted litigation is completed, the case is scheduled for a trial. Once again, this is a time consuming process and it can take several months for the trial to begin since the court system is typically backed up with cases. Scheduling a trial date is especially tricky when there’s many witnesses that need to be coordinated.
For the trial itself, it’s best if possible that the plaintiff allow the case to run it’s course without any time constraints or pressure. The attorney wants to get the most amount of money for it’s clients in the least possible amount of time. The optimal result however, can be effectively achieved with patience of the client.
As someone who has been representing clients for 20 years, my focus is to take the stress out of the equation for the injured parties. At Palermo Law, we deal with all of the unnecessary legal paperwork and insurance forms so that our clients can focus on their recovery and get their compensation as fast possible.