Common Reasons Your Louisiana Personal Injury Settlement is Delayed

January 21, 2021 Accident

Common Reasons Your Louisiana Personal Injury Settlement is Delayed 

Many Louisiana personal injury cases settle quickly, but many do not. There are several factors that explain why personal injury cases take time. Some factors are unique to a given case, but some are common to all types of personal injury cases. All personal injury cases are factually and legally complicated. This is why it is important to retain experienced and dedicated Louisiana personal injury lawyers like those at Mansfield, Melancon, Cranmer & Dick LLC to handle your case.

One common reason that it may take months to settle a personal injury case is that it takes time for your trusted attorneys to gather all of the evidence about the accident to prove that the wrongdoer was at fault. In Louisiana, in order to obtain a settlement or win money damages in a court case, the victim of an accident must prove that the wrongdoer was negligent or reckless. The legal rules are different depending on the type of case. For example, in a Louisiana construction site accident or a slip and fall injury in a retail establishment, the victim must show that there was some hazardous or unreasonably safe condition on the property. With car crashes, among other things, the victim must show that the other driver breached his or her duty to exercise reasonable care for the safety of others.

In some cases, the investigation shows that more than one person was at fault. It takes time to investigate all of the potential wrongdoers, to identify their insurance carriers and to bring them into the negotiations and/or the lawsuit (if a lawsuit must be filed). For example, in a Louisiana car accident, maybe more than two vehicles were involved or maybe some mechanical or tire failure was a factor in the accident. When that happens, legally, it is essential to identify all wrongdoers and make sure that they — and their insurance carriers — have been brought into the case. That can take time. Further, cases involving multiple causation can be delayed because, even after everyone is “in” the case, during negotiations, the parties struggle to agree on the percentage fault to be assigned to each wrongdoer.

Another common reason for delay is that the victim’s injuries are severe enough that the healing process takes many months. Victims of Louisiana personal injury accidents are entitled to be compensated by the wrongdoer(s) for ALL injuries and damages. This includes all of the medical bills and expenses. As a practical matter, a case cannot settle or go to trial until all the medical bills, surgery and hospital expenses, rehabilitation costs and more are received and tabulated. This is similarly true for calculating any lost wages and earnings and for pain and suffering. All the bills and claims must be obtained before settlement negotiations can begin in earnest. Sometimes this takes months. But it must be done, since, once the case has settled or gone to trial, generally, a victim cannot “go back” for more compensation if there are more medical bills or more lost time away from work.

Other common situations where settlements can be delayed include:

  • Obstinance and “foot-dragging” by one or more of the insurance carriers — insurance companies sometimes dispute the evidence and delay matters trying to “wait out” the victims hoping they will “give in” and accept a smaller settlement
  • Cases involving injuries resulting in life-time disabilities — these types of injuries require complex evidence which takes time to gather
  • When medical causation is complicated — proof that an accident caused a broken arm is often straightforward, but the opposite is often true for a condition like traumatic brain injury
  • When the victim has a preexisting medical condition and it is necessary to demonstrate an aggravation of that condition
  • Cases with multiple victims
  • Hit and run cases or other cases where it is difficult to identify or find the wrongdoer
  • Cases involving certain types of claims like product or manufacturing defects
  • Cases where the expected settlement/court award will be large — the larger the amount in controversy, the harder the insurance companies will fight

Our Attorneys can Help 

If you or someone you love has been injured in a Louisiana accident, contact the Louisiana personal injury attorneys at Mansfield, Melancon, Cranmer & Dick LLC. We have a proven track record of success with many types of personal injury cases. Contact us by calling one of our offices: New Orleans at (504) 500-1108, Baton Rouge at (225) 612-0800, or Lafayette at (337) 409-0003. You can also request a free consultation by using our “Contact Us” page.