After a car accident, many people who are injured open a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company on their own. It is common for someone to call me after they have already opened a claim. But, for some reason or another, their case has stalled.
As a personal injury attorney, these clients ask me to help get their claim moving.
There are many reasons why personal injury claims stall. First and foremost, the at-fault driver’s insurance company rarely wants to settle a case quickly. Delaying claims may help to reduce the amount of claims they have. Sometimes, people become frustrated with the process and abandon their claim. Also, if a claim grows too old, the injured person may lose their right to collect any money from the insurance company.
Generally, in Pennsylvania, you have TWO YEARS from when you were injured to file a lawsuit. If you do not file the lawsuit before that deadline, you lose your legal right to sue.
If you have ANY questions about when a case MUST be filed, you should speak with a local personal injury attorney as soon as possible. If I find that an adjuster is stalling for no reason, I advise my clients that we should file a lawsuit immediately. If they are not taking your claim seriously, I will.
Another reason why car accident claims stall is because the adjuster does not have all the documents that they need to evaluate the claim. If a client is still being treated by a physician, chiropractor, or physical therapist, there may be medical records that the adjuster is waiting for.
If the case is based on a car accident, then the adjuster could be waiting on the Crash Report from the responding police department. Without these records, an adjuster will not evaluate your claim properly.
If the adjuster makes you an offer at this point, that offer does not consider all the injuries that you suffered. That means that the offer will be much lower than what it should be.
AN ADJUSTER WILL NOT TELL YOU THAT THEY ARE MAKING YOU A LOW OFFER. I think that’s a reason to speak with an attorney prior to trying to settle a case on your own.
After the COVID-19 pandemic, adjusters seem to have too many cases to manage. I have noticed that there have been some delays caused by this. That is another reason why its important to provide all the medical records. This way, when you are able to speak with an adjuster, they have all the records in the file they need to reference.
If a delay is prolonged, I advise my clients to file the lawsuit. If the adjuster is overworked and can’t get to your case, filing the lawsuit will likely get the case into someone else’s hands that has to immediately address it.
A final reason why a case stalls with someone not represented by an attorney is because part of the adjuster’s evaluation will be the adjuster’s attempt to get your statement. When I speak with clients that have already provided a statement to the adjuster prior to speaking with me, I cross my fingers that they didn’t unknowingly say something that will hurt their claim.
Don’t forget that THE ADJUSTER DOES NOT WORK FOR YOU. Their job is to pay you as little as legally possible.
When a client hires me to handle their personal injury case, I speak with my clients about addressing the facts in the best way possible so that the adjuster fully understands what injuries occurred. I speak to the adjuster so that my clients don’t have to. When I speak with the adjuster, I make it clear that I am willing to go to trial for my client to fight for as much money as the injuries dictate.
If you live in Southwestern Pennsylvania and you were injured in a car accident, I’d be happy to speak to you about your claim. You can call me at 724-832-2499, text me at 724-858-2744, or schedule an appointment at our Greensburg office, Latrobe office, or Johnstown office.