4 Common Issues That Can Delay Your Accident Claim
Following serious injuries due to another party’s negligence, you may want to settle your personal injury claim as quickly as possible. You have medical bills mounting fast. You might not have another source of income during this difficult period. Unfortunately, there are several common delays that can significantly extend the time needed to settle your claim.
1. You haven’t yet recovered enough from your injuries.
Some people will never make a full recovery from the injuries they sustained in a serious accident. You will, however, continue to make immense improvements over the first several weeks or even months following the accident. In many cases, including accident claims involving serious injuries like traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injuries, or back and neck injuries, your doctor may not have a full picture of your eventual prognosis until several months after the initial accident.
Your recovery, including how much mobility and independence you eventually regain, can impact your personal injury claim in several key ways.
Delays or complications in your recovery may increase the compensation you deserve.
The more complications you face during your recovery, the more your medical bills will mount, and the more compensation you may deserve for those injuries. Serious complications and setbacks could lead to additional time in the hospital, further medical procedures, or even greater overall losses, which could increase the compensation you need to ask for from the party that caused your injuries.
The extent of your eventual recovery may have an impact on the compensation you deserve.
Many of the injuries involved in personal injury claims involve a significant loss of independence or function. Your injuries could prevent you from enjoying the activities that you usually love most or stop you from working. In some cases, they may even prevent you from taking care of yourself. If you suffer severe injuries with lifelong limitations, you may deserve more compensation than if you ultimately make a full recovery from your injuries.
2. The insurance company that covers the liable party wants to dispute liability.
Sometimes, the evidence clearly shows exactly who caused an accident, especially one that resulted in severe injuries. In other cases, however, the insurance company may try to dispute liability. If the insurance company can show that you caused or contributed to your accident through your own willful negligence, it may decrease or even eliminate the compensation you deserve for your injuries. As the insurance company disputes liability, it can drag out the personal injury claim process and make it harder for you to complete your claim.
In addition to claiming that you caused the accident yourself, the insurance company may attempt to pass liability on to another party. For example, in a construction site accident, the electrician that left an open power line exposed might try to claim that the construction company overseeing the site must have turned the power back on unexpectedly, which would leave the electrician free of liability. Often, these disputes can significantly drag out the claim process, leaving you struggling to get the compensation you deserve..
3. Administrative delays prevent your claim from moving through the system.
Personal injury claims require input from several entities: your attorney, the insurance company that covers the liable party, the liable party themselves, and the court system.
Administrative delays can occur at any point in the process. If the insurance company is experiencing a high volume of claims, for example, the employees may have a difficult time processing claims through quickly and effectively. They may have staffing issues due to illness or delays due to many people working from home, without access to the information they need. Claims may move slower during the summer months, when more people are likely to go on vacation–and, in many environments, claims are more likely to come in to begin with. For example, hotels may see an increase in traffic during the summer months, leading to more potential accidents and injuries, while many roads see more traffic, which can raise the risk of severe auto accidents.
Administrative delays in the court system often remain outside anyone’s control. Those delays may occur as a result of an influx of cases or due to slowdowns or shutdowns in the local government system. COVID-19, for example, led to shutdowns across many jurisdictions, and claims processing slowed to a crawl for any claims that needed mediation or a trial. Other challenges may impact local court systems.
4. The insurance company may deliberately try to slow down processing on your claim.
Paying out a claim, especially a high-value claim, costs money for the insurance company. The insurance company may know that it owes you that money, based on the circumstances that led to your accident and the extent of your injuries, but may not want to pay that amount out immediately. Sometimes, the company will deliberately drag out the process in an effort to reduce its immediate financial liability. In the meantime, the insurance company may try to pressure you to take a low settlement offer instead of going after the full compensation you deserve. Many people may accept those offers in an effort to get the money they need in their hands quickly. However, an attorney can help advise you about the reasons the insurance company may attempt to delay your claim and how to navigate those delays while still pursuing the compensation you deserve.
Do You Need Help with Your Personal Injury Claim?
If you have faced a significant delay in the processing of your personal injury claim, you may already be frustrated or struggling to manage without the funds you desperately need. At Gina Corena & Associates, we can help move your claim through the system, including streamlining that process and avoiding many of the delays often associated with personal injury claims. Contact us today at 702-680-1111 to learn more about how we can help you move your claim through the system and increase the odds that you will get the full compensation you deserve when you need it.