One of the most frequently asked questions of personal injury clients is “How long will it take to settle my case?” After seeing television advertisements with actors claiming to have received their settlement checks in a flash, many potential clients are surprised to find out that the process of settling a personal injury case is time-consuming and doesn’t happen overnight, even in cases where there is clear liability. As a matter of fact, there are several reasons why it is not in a client’s best interest to rush and settle a case. The most important reason not to rush settlement of a personal injury case is to allow the injured client time to pursue medical treatment and reach the point of maximum medical recovery. It is extremely difficult to estimate the extent of medical treatment a client will need immediately after an injury. Furthermore, even medical treatment for minor or soft tissue injuries can be expensive. Clients are often shocked when they see the final bills from their medical providers after undergoing routine physical therapy and other related treatment. If medical bills are not accounted for in the settlement of a client’s case, it is the client who is left with the financial burden of these unpaid bills. Also, medical bills often serve as a measuring stick for the valuation of a client’s case for both the client’s attorney and the insurance adjuster. Injury attorneys cannot fully evaluate a case when they don’t know the extent and total costs of their client’s injury. Also, a client who submits only partial records of treatment and bills is always going to receive a lower offer than if he/she had submitted all records and bills from treatment.
Another reason the settlement process is time-consuming is that from a negotiation standpoint it is not recommended that injured clients rush to settle their cases. A poorly timed request to settle can suggest to an insurance adjuster that the client is desperate for money and, as a result, can lead to a low settlement offer. Most clients would prefer a minor delay in the timing of settlement over the prospect of leaving money on the table.
Finally, settlement of an injury case may take time due to the need to file a lawsuit. With thousands of personal injury cases filed yearly in courts all across Georgia, it can take several months, sometimes years, for cases to be processed through our court system. This is still the case even when both parties anticipate settlement. At The Faucette Law Firm, we understand that the legal process of resolving a personal injury case can be overwhelming, especially upon learning that injury cases aren’t resolved overnight. We walk our client through the process of settlement, advising them, educating them and keeping them informed each and every step of the way. If you have been injured due to negligence, contact The Faucette Law Firm today at (770) 485-6620.