It is impossible to give a precise answer on how long a premises liability claim takes to settle. This is because several factors go into resolving a claim. Everything from the nature of your injury to the aggressiveness of your legal counsel will play a part in determining how long a settlement might take.
Avoiding delays is important for anyone considering a premises liability lawsuit. Most of the time, the financial pressure an injured person is under is much more significant than the insurance company’s desire to resolve the claim. Moving your case along at a fast pace can protect your rights and ensure you can seek the compensation you deserve.
Factors that Can Impact How Soon Your Case Might Settle
There are a wide variety of factors that could impact the length of time your settlement might take. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are more than 30 million emergency room visits caused by unintentional injuries each year, and many of those are premises liability cases. Every case is different, but there are several factors that could determine the length of the settlement.
Your Medical Prognosis
It is in your best interest to wait until you achieve maximum medical improvement before settling your case. Maximum medical improvement, or MMI, is the point where you cannot recover any further from your injuries.
It is at that point when you can determine the full value of your claim. This could require waiting for months until treatment is completed.
The Insurance Company
Insurance companies have very little reason to aggressively push your injury claim forward. They have the resources to drag out litigation when needed, which is a common tactic among insurers. Insurance companies know that you need the settlement more than they do, and any delay could push you to accept an inadequate offer.
The longer the insurance companies wait to resolve your claim, the longer they are able to hold on to those funds. You can essentially think of it as a zero-interest loan using your settlement proceeds.
The Property Owner
The owner of the property where your injury occurred is another important factor in how long your case takes to settle. Large businesses are often accustomed to handling these claims.
According to Graziadio Business Review, large retailers like Walmart face as many as 1,000 slip–and-fall injury notices per day. Compared to smaller businesses or private property owners, these large companies might have a streamlined process for liability claims that could take less time to resolve.
Your legal counsel could help you avoid delays—or cause delays of their own. By pushing a case forward, your attorney could ensure delay tactics from the insurance company are unsuccessful. However, a lax approach to your claim could cause your settlement to drag on longer than necessary.
While negotiating a premises liability claim is not guaranteed to be a slow process, these negotiations could stretch out over time in some cases, particularly when the total compensation demanded is significant.
Avoiding Delays Does Not Mean Rushing Your Settlement
Unnecessary delays are never in the best interest of a plaintiff in a premises liability case. That said, rushing into a quick settlement is equally problematic. In fact, insurance companies understand they are at an advantage if they can push you to accept a quick settlement without first speaking to legal counsel.
In many cases, the insurance company for the defendant will make a settlement offer immediately. This may be done in an effort to negotiate with you before you seek legal counsel and know the full scope of your medical needs.
In some cases, your medical costs could grow in the days and weeks following an injury. By settling early, you could accept a payout that is far below the total cost of your care.
An Attorney Can Help You with Your Premises Liability Claim
Your attorney will play a vital role in determining how long your premises liability claim takes to settle. Pursuing your claim and negotiating on your behalf could move along the process considerably.
The attorneys of Bernstein & Poisson understand the importance of your injury claim. We can handle your insurance claim or file a personal injury lawsuit if necessary to help you pursue fair compensation after you suffer injuries due to a property owner’s negligence. To get started, take advantage of a free consultation by calling today.