18 July 2013, Comments: 1
Most personal injuries, such as car accidents. premises injuries at grocery stores, Wal-Mart, etc. involve dealing with an insurance company to settle an injury claim. In Texas, a claim can be settled with the insurer’s claim adjuster or the insurer may hire local Texas lawyers to represent the insurance company once a lawsuit is filed. The time and complexity involved in settling an injury claim or suit depends upon the injuries sustained, how well the medical records support the injuries, the seriousness of the injuries, the general likelihood that the injury would be caused by the type of accident involved, the amount demanded and dozens of other factors.
The easiest claims to settle are those with obvious injuries that will heal with no long term effects, such as a broken arm or cuts. It is fairly easy to show that your arm was not broken, then it was broken and it will heal back to 100% use. Those are easy to settle because there is little room to question whether the injury is real, the injury was caused by the accident or incident and there is little question about recovering long term medical expenses or pain and suffering.
The claims become more difficult to settle as the injuries become more complex, involve soft tissue (so there is no visual sign of injury or pain), emotional trauma occurred,
loss of cognitive function, long term pain and suffering or long term medical expenses are required. In these cases proof of the injury and/or proof of the appropriate costs of treatment and pain may be greater, causing the insurer to be more willing to litigate the claims, or the claims may be more ambiguous which improves the insurer’s chance that a jury may disagree that the injury is as serious as the doctors claim. That does not mean that somebody who has injuries or pain should not recover or prepare to litigate those claims. It just means the insurer is going to be less willing to settle.
Claims that involve large sums of money, especially those beyond the policy limits of the insurance policy, are very likely to go to trial because the amount needed to make the injured person whole exceeds what the insurer could agree to settle because the insurer cannot pay more than the policy limits. In those situations, the trial, and possibly appeals, can significantly extend the time to recover for the injuries, if at all.
Easier claims may settle as quickly as weeks or a few months after the insurer is notified of the injury and provided the appropriate records (and often quicker once they know you have an attorney). The more difficult claims may require months or, if it goes to trial, possibly years to settle.