VIDEO TRANSCRIPT: Hello everybody, this is Robert Mansour. I'm making a brief video today here from my office in Los Angeles, California, where I practice personal injury law as one of my areas of practice.
In today's video, I thought we would spend of time talking about the issue of when will my personal injury case finish? When do I get paid? When does the insurance company give me a check? This is an issue for a lot of my clients. They're like, "When is my personal injury case going to be over?"
Sometimes they call me every week. "Hey, have they made an offer yet? Have they given us any money yet? How much are we going to get?"
Here's the thing. People have to understand that insurance companies take a long time to evaluate your case. They are not going to pay you any money prematurely. At the very beginning of the case, they're not going to say, "Here's how much we're going to pay you." Unless, of course, they are trying to settle with you quickly and they just offer you a couple of bucks.
But if you've hired a lawyer and you are treating for your injuries, they are not going to just prematurely settle your case. One of the issues is you have to be finished with your treatment, so you can't call during the middle of your treatment and say, "Hey, listen, I have a few more weeks to go, but have we settled our case yet?" They're not going to settle the case until they know the full extent of your injuries.
And frankly, it's in your best case not to settle your case until you have a full appreciation of what your injuries are. What if you have a residual injury? What if you have a problem that's going to bother you for many years to come? Do you really want to settle prematurely?
Also, we need to present the insurance company with bills and reports. If you're still treating and you're not finished, we're not going to have all the bills and the reports that we need to give to the insurance company. So that's one of the issues that you need to know. If you're still treating, that's one issue.
Number two, how much are you asking for? If you ask for $10 from the insurance company, the case will settle like this. It's settle in a few seconds. If you ask for $500 the case will probably settle. The more money you ask for, the more difficult it becomes to settle the case. If you're asking for $50,000, you're going to get some resistance from the insurance company. If you ask for $500,000, you can bet this case is going to take a long, long time.
Generally speaking, the more money you ask for, the more documentation and proof and convincing an insurance company is going to require. Also, the more they will fight you. If you are asking them for $500,000, do you think they are going to roll over and write you a check? No, they're going to find out why, and they are also going to try to fight it. If you can't win, you're going to have to file a lawsuit against the party that hit you and who caused the accident. You're going to have to go after them and convince a jury that your case is worth $500,000.
Sometimes clients say, "Why is it taking so long?" I tell them, "You're asking for a lot of money. They are going to take a long time." And so, there is a relationship there.
The other issue is whether or not the adjuster is overworked. There are certain insurance companies that overwork their adjusters. The adjuster has about 200 and 300 files sitting on their desk. Don't expect the insurance adjuster to take home your file home and put it under their pillow and go to sleep. The insurance adjuster is not going to do that. The insurance adjuster has so many cases going on. They may not be able to give you the attention that you think your case deserves. They're just overworked.
Also, some insurance adjusters are not very responsive. Just like in any area of life, there are certain people who do their job really well and certain people who do their job, okay? And some people who don't do their job at all. They're sitting at the office having coffee, drinking with their friends, going out to parties, coming in late. They don't get their work done on time. Every insurance company has certain adjusters who are like that.
If you get assigned an adjuster who doesn't return your calls and is not responsive, that's sometimes just luck of the draw. Sometimes you have to go over their head and go to their supervisor. So that might affect how long it takes for a case to resolve.
Also, certain adjusters are notorious for asking for further information. They want to know more, and they want to get this and they want to get this document and that document. Some of them are very what I call "tree people."
You see, there are tree people and then there are forest people. In my opinion, some of the adjusters only look at trees and so they can only see this much. Then there are certain adjusters that see the forest, and they are the kind of people who see the forest from the trees. They don't need proof for every single minutia of detail. Unfortunately, some adjusters will actually ask you for more and more information simply as a stall mechanism because they really don't want to do the work. They just say, "Well, I need this document."
"You don't really need that document, do you? You're just stalling, now. You don't really want to do your job." Unfortunately, sometimes the adjuster that you get assigned will affect how long your case takes.
Another issue that sometimes affects how long a case takes is how responsive you are with your lawyer. If your lawyer asks you for this or for that, do you get them that information right away or do you take a week or two or three weeks before you get back to them? Sometimes the client themselves can delay the process of settling a case.
Briefly, the length of how long it takes your personal injury case will depend upon a variety of factors. Usually, most injury cases take about five or six months to resolve, but yours might take more. It might take less. The point is that you should always keep in mind that there are a variety of factors that affect that.
My name is Robert Mansour, and I want to thank you for watching this brief video. I hope you found it helpful.
If you need help with your personal injury case, call our office at (661) 414-7100.
by Robert Mansour
Robert Mansour is a personal injury lawyer serving Santa Clarita, Valencia,