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Why Do Personal Injury Settlements Take So Long?

As many car accident, truck accident, and other accident victims quickly find out, accidents that result in injuries aren’t just painful—they’re also expensive. Medical charges start right away, beginning from the moment you’re placed into an ambulance, and continue to rack up as you get treated at the hospital, your doctor’s office, and during physical rehabilitation.

To make matters worse, your injuries may prevent you from going back to work anytime soon. That means no paychecks until you recover. Even disability insurance typically pays only a percentage of your normal wages and losing out on money you rely on can put you and your loved ones in a serious bind.

It’s because of these absolutely pressing financial needs that many injured victims reach out to attorneys to help them get compensation. But when the check doesn’t arrive as promptly as hoped, it can be a frustrating and discouraging experience.

If you’re considering filing a compensation claim and are worried about how long it will take to get paid, or if you’ve already filed a claim and want to know what’s taking so long, we’re here to help to you better understand the legal process and why claims can take time to pay out.

First, Your Attorney Must Gather Evidence that Proves You Weren’t at Fault

The basis of all personal injury claims is establishing fault. If the insurance company believes you were fully or partially at fault, it may refuse to pay you the money you deserve. To avoid that problem, our Oklahoma personal injury lawyers collect plenty of evidence that leaves no doubt about who caused our clients’ injuries.

However, evidence isn’t always readily or easily available, and it sometimes requires the cooperation of law enforcement, hospitals, EMS companies, private businesses, private citizens, and more, to paint a full picture of what happened.

Second, Your Attorney Must Determine How Much Money You’re Owed

After we’ve established our clients weren’t at fault for their injuries, our next goal is to calculate how much money they’re owed for the accident. We’ll look at all the ways their injuries affect them and their loved ones, both now and in the future. That means calculating current and future medical bills and lost wages, as well as things like pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and more.

This is an important process, because unless it’s as accurate as possible, you may not get enough money to adequately compensate you for your damages.

Finally, Negotiation with the Insurance Company Begins

The first two steps can be time-consuming, but it’s often this step—the negotiation process—that involves the most waiting. That’s because insurance companies rarely accept the first demand letter presented to them by victims’ lawyers.

Remember, insurance companies are in business to make big profits—not to pay innocent people the money they deserve after accidents and injuries. This game of tug-of-war can occur even when there’s plenty of evidence that proves the victims’ innocence, as insurance companies often hope that victims will simply give up.

At Parrish DeVaughn, we don’t take no for an answer from insurance companies, and we don’t let them get away with paying our clients less than what they deserve. When you get us on your side, we’ll do everything in our power to get you paid, and that means staying one step ahead of the insurance company at all turns and even taking them to court if necessary.

We know that it can be difficult to experience delays when it comes to getting paid, but our goal is always getting you paid in full so that you’re fairly compensated for what you’ve gone through, even if that means rejecting an initial offer that is far too small when we know you need, deserve, and can get more.

Don’t Jump the Gun! Being Patient Can Mean Significantly More Money.

Insurance companies know that victims like you have pressing financial needs, including looming medical bill deadlines, day-to-day living expenses that become harder and harder to manage, and less or even no steady income while you heal. After your injury, the insurance company may take advantage of your situation by offering you a one-time upfront payment. The offer may seem appealing and substantial, but it’s unlikely to be sufficient to cover your accident-related expenses.

Never accept a settlement offer without speaking to a lawyer first. When you contact us, our attorneys can calculate how much your claim is actually worth, and we’ll fight to get you every penny of that. If you accept an initial settlement, you may be unable to pursue additional compensation, even if it runs out before your medical bills do.

In the meantime, check out our recent blog to learn options for keeping up with your medical bills and daily living expenses while you wait for your claim to settle.

Get a Firm that Cares—Get Parrish DeVaughn!

Some firms see clients as nothing more than quick paydays. As soon as insurance companies are ready to settle, they take the first offers that come their way so they can get their cuts. Our firm is different. We work hard to get our clients the money they need after accidents that weren’t their fault.

For some clients, that means longer waiting periods, but we believe that getting full compensation that lasts for years or even a lifetime is better than quick paydays that simply aren’t enough. Contact us today for a free consultation—we’re here to help.