Delays in Payment in Kansas City Car Accident Cases

Here's the scenario, you were in a car accident in Kansas or Missouri.  You have been treating and following your doctor's advice. The insurance company is calling you a lot, but they aren't paying.  The bills are growing but you are not working like you used to.  

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At this moment, you're wondering:  "How long will my car accident case take to settle?" The answer is it can take a few months or much longer, and it depends on several factors.

At our Kansas City car accident law firm, our top objective is to push our cases as fast as possible to get them resolved and recover the maximum amount for each client. However, the process for pursuing legal claims is complicated and dependent on many things that are simply outside the control of any attorney.  

Why Your Car Accident Case Has Not Settled?

The following factors can sometimes extend the length of time necessary to develop and position a case for recovery on your behalf.

1.  You are still treating for injuries related to the accident.

If you are still undergoing medical treatment for your injuries, it is very difficult to accurately place a value on your car accident claim. If you choose to settle it prior to being treated to your maximum medical improvement (MMI), you will open up the possibility of accepting less than what your claim is worth.  You may then not have the funds to pay for your future treatment or other needs.  For this reason, it is usually best that you wait until you have fully treated before trying to settle your case.

The insurance company will require that you provide documentation of your injuries through your medical providers. If your medical records and bills are incomplete because your treatment is incomplete, it will impact the value they place on your case. This can be frustrating and difficult as you try to continue the treatment that you need for your injuries while also having to pay many of these costs out-of-pocket.  However, a good car accident lawyer will be able to help you identify other sources for paying your medical bills while your case is pending.

In some cases, the long-term impact of your injuries will never be resolved. For example, you may have permanent impairments, functional limitations or scars that will never go away.  Your car accident attorney should be able to use evidence like your medical records, treating physician statements, and potentially medical expert to give opinions as to what your future treatment and costs will be. These future treatment costs can then be included in a demand package to the insurance company.

2.  There are unknown or disputed facts that prevent a quick settlement.

If it is disputed as to who was at fault for causing the accident, this will be a major impediment in a speedy settlement.  Disputed liability affects the value of your potential recovery and how quickly your case will be resolved. Your attorney will need to gather the evidence and conduct an investigation of all relevant facts to support your position and prove to the insurance company that you were not at fault.  Even then, the insurance company may believe their insured driver even if he or she is lying.

In other cases, facts can arise that make a recovery more complicated. Such cases include hit-and-run accidents, uninsured or under-insured motorists, or accidents involving commercial trucks or other vehicles. It can take more time to sort out what insurance is available and which policy will cover the damages. If there are multiple insurance companies, they will need to communicate with each other and with your attorney. The policies will need to be reviewed to determine who is primary and who is secondary in terms of coverage.

In addition to the above, there may be other insurance coverage issues that will need to be understood before an insurance company is willing to pay. In any of these circumstances, it may be necessary to initiate a lawsuit in order to get all the information you need and to fully present your case.

3.  Your case has serious injuries and substantial insurance coverage.

Insurance companies tend to move much slower when there is good chance that they will pay a large sum of money. They may delay paying, deny coverage or force you to litigate your claim in court. Unfortunately, the insurance company knows that many injured people need money to pay for their medical treatment. As a result, some insurance companies will drag out settlements in large cases because they know that this increases their leverage and the potential that you will accept a lesser amount.

Hire the Best Car Accident Attorney You Can Find

Working with an experienced car accident attorney who is committed to your case and who communicates with your is key to resolving your claim quickly. At our Kansas City car accident law firm, we aim to provide excellent client service and open communication so our clients have clear expectations about the time frame involved in their case and the steps that we need to work through to get them the maximum amount for their injury claim.

The legal process can be frustrating, but you will be well-served by having an experienced attorney on your side who is able to build a strong case, rebut the arguments from the opposing side, and negotiate the best potential recovery on your behalf. 

Call Our Kansas City Car Accident Law Firm Today

Injured in a Kansas City area car accident? If you've been hurt in a car accident in Kansas City, or elsewhere in Kansas and Missouri, you should speak with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online by using the form below or call our Kansas City office at 816-203-0143 for a free, no obligation consultation.

In addition, you can download one of our free guides, such as Crash Course: 9 Mistakes That Can Wreck Your Accident Claim in Kansas and Missouri. This guide will help you understand the process to get the maximum amount for your car accident claim and how to hire the best accident attorney for your case.

Kevin J. McManus
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Kevin McManus is an accident injury and disability lawyer in Kansas City, MO, and Overland Park, KS