Car accidents cause a lot of stress. If you’re injured, there’s stress while you recover. Even if you’re not injured, there’s the stress of finding a replacement car or waiting for car repairs. There’s the stress of dealing with insurance companies. It impacts your finances for days and even weeks if you can’t return to work immediately. Someone else caused the accident, yet you feel like you’re the only one paying for that other driver’s behavior.
Even a normal insurance claim that’s not contested may take weeks before you get the money for the settlement. If you’re suing the other driver, you want that settlement as quickly as possible. What happens if you feel it’s taking too long? How do you get your car accident attorney to work at your speed?
Some Settlements Take Longer Than Others
What’s important to know is that there are settlements that can take months. Make sure your expectations of how long the case should take is realistic. Here are some of the things that will slow your case down.
A Lack of Witnesses and Proof
Your car accident attorney may be doing everything possible to speed the process up, but roadblocks pose issues. If there are questions about liability, it can slow it down. If there were few witnesses and they’re giving different accounts or photos leave questions, the quality of evidence may not be helping speed the process along.
You’re Not at the Maximum Medical Improvement
If you were injured and required months of hospitalization, your personal injury attorney may be waiting to see if you will need additional surgeries or physical therapy to make a full recovery. It’s hard to come up with the full cost of your injuries and recovery if you’re only a few weeks into the process. Attorneys need to wait until the doctors say you’ve reached the “maximum medical improvement” to know you’ve healed as much as your body is capable. At the same time, your attorney may be having a hard time finding a doctor who is comfortable saying the accident caused your injuries.
Insurance Deadlines Haven’t Passed
It’s also important to know the deadlines an insurance company faces on a personal injury claim. They can take up to 15 days to acknowledge receipt of the claim and another 15 days to send you the Proof of Loss forms. Once they get those forms back from you, they have 15 days to decide if the claim is accepted. Colorado laws require an insurance company to issue payment within 60 days of receiving a complete, valid claim. That’s two months they can take to pay up. Add in the time it takes your attorney to contact witnesses, collect accident reports and photos, and meet with the insurance company about the settlement offer.
You’ve Ruled Out Delays With Your Case
If you’ve ruled out that the attorney is simply waiting for information, you should call and ask. There are a couple of situations where you’ll want to look into changing lawyers.
The Attorney Lacks Experience
Your case may have been handed to a newer attorney with less experience. That doesn’t mean the attorney won’t do a fantastic job, but the attorney may need a little extra time building the case. If the case has to go to court, the attorney needs time to find and interview expert witnesses. Sometimes, a newer attorney does have a harder time building a case. If it’s beyond that attorney’s experience, it may be best to seek new representation.
The Attorney Is Overloaded
Your attorney may take on too many cases. Car accident cases are often handled on a contingency basis. The attorney gets no money unless you get a settlement or verdict. To remain financially solvent, the attorney may need to take on multiple clients. If that’s happening, it may be your attorney is stretched a little thin. It may be better to see a new attorney that limits the number of clients he/she accepts.
Be honest and see what the attorney says. If you’re under a contract with the attorney, you may not be able to switch as easily as you’d think. You may have to pay fees for the work that’s been done to this point. It may be better to work with your lawyer to speed up the process as much as possible.
Our attorneys have helped victims and their families get more than $500 million in settlements and verdicts. At Jordan Law, our goal is to make sure your voice is heard. When a car crash isn’t your fault, you shouldn’t face financial repercussions. You don’t pay anything unless our attorneys land a positive settlement or verdict. Reach us through online chat or by calling (303) 647-3029.