Factors That May Delay The Settlement Of Your Florida Personal Injury Case
After suffering an injury in Florida because of someone else’s negligence, you can file a personal injury case and recover compensation for your injury and damages. If you suffered an injury in a Florida accident because of another person’s fault, one of the questions you are likely asking yourself is how long it will take to settle your injury case and recover compensation. Unfortunately, there isn’t a way to tell precisely how long it will take to resolve your Florida personal injury case. Settling your personal injury case could take weeks, months, or even years. Different factors could affect the timeline of your injury case. In this article, we discuss some of the factors that may delay the settlement of your Florida personal injury case.
Disputes Over Liability
In a personal injury case, a party is said to be liable if they are held legally responsible for the accident, injuries, and resulting damages. In a personal injury case, liability comes down to which party or parties acted negligently. Negligence occurs when someone fails to behave with the level of care that a reasonable person would have exercised under similar circumstances. Unfortunately, even when liability is clear, disputes may arise. The insurance company might try to deny liability even if it is clear that the defendant is liable for your accident, injuries, and resulting damages. If the insurance company denies liability, it will not want to settle your case.
Issues Surrounding Your Damages
In a Florida personal injury case, you may be entitled to recover economic, non-economic, and punitive damages. However, in Florida, punitive damages are only awarded in cases where a plaintiff can show that the defendant is guilty of gross negligence or intentional misconduct. If there is an issue about which damages you are entitled to in your injury case, the settlement of your case could be delayed. Resolving such issues can take time. Usually, disputes arise over non-economic damages. Proving economic damages such as medical expenses and lost wages is easy. On the other hand, proving something like pain and suffering can be challenging.
The Involvement of Significant Compensation
If the amount of money the defendant owes you is significant, the settlement of your Florida personal injury case might delay. This is because insurance companies usually do not want to pay out a lot of money to plaintiffs. Insurance companies are in the business of making money and not paying out money to plaintiffs. If your case involves significant compensation, the insurance company might even use dirty tactics to delay settlement. For example, the insurance company might drag out the investigation process by asking you to complete additional, unnecessary documentation.
The Length of Your Medical Treatment
Your personal injury attorney will not recommend that you settle your personal injury case until your injuries have healed or you have gotten to a point where you do not expect to make any more recovery. In other words, your attorney will not recommend settling your case until you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI). Therefore, the longer it takes you to reach maximum medical improvement, the longer your case will take to settle.
Your Case Goes to Court
Most personal injury cases in Florida are settled outside of court. However, sometimes it is necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit. For example, if, after negotiations, the insurance company refuses to give you a fair settlement offer, it might be necessary for you to file a lawsuit. Often, when an insurance company learns that a plaintiff plans to file a lawsuit, it will make a fair settlement offer to prevent the plaintiff from filing a lawsuit and receiving more compensation through a jury verdict. However, this is not a guarantee, and you may have to litigate your personal injury case in court. It is crucial that you are patient if your case proceeds to trial because a trial can enable you to recover more compensation than you would have in an out-of-court settlement.
Are There Ways To Avoid Delays?
Yes, you can take steps to avoid delays. For example, as it pertains to your medical treatment, you should follow your doctor’s orders. Doing so can help speed up your recovery and allow you to reach MMI within a reasonable amount of time. Your personal injury attorney can advise you on other steps you can take to avoid delays.
Contact a Fort Myers Personal Injury Attorney
If you suffered injuries in a Florida accident because of another person’s negligence and need help from a qualified attorney, do not hesitate to contact our Fort Myers personal injury attorneys at The Law Offices of Marc L. Shapiro.