Every case is different. And it is just the nature of the system that some suits take longer than others. Some take considerably longer, in fact. But there are some reasons for delay that are predictable and downright expected. The main reason behind delay is that insurance companies know that if they make it difficult some claims will disappear because they’re not worth the hassle to the claimant. More important, they understand that people need a resolution today – and they will usually be willing to take less than they are entitled today instead of waiting to get what they deserve tomorrow.
Every insurance company plays the delay game. It begins in presuit – before the law suit is actually filed. Naturally, before an insurance company pays a dime on a claim it must undertake an “investigation” in order to determine if it should pay anything. It also investigates damages – how much it should pay, if its client is at fault. This may include procuring accident reports, police reports, photos, bills, estimates and taking statements.
As a rule, however, the insurance companies will take every opportunity to play the delay game during presuit. Even after liability and damages have long been established, they will demand some obscure estimate, photo or statement alleging that their own client is being “uncooperative” and providing a very different story. When a formal demand is made, they will claim they do not have sufficient authority, and they need to talk to a supervisor; naturally, the supervisors are on vacation for 3 weeks.
The attorney can cut through the presuit delay game by filing your lawsuit. And you should always know if your attorney has filed your lawsuit and why s/he has not, if s/he has not. Of course, there are reasons to wait before filing a law suit, but as a general rule, we recommend aggressive and quick filing to show we mean business. But even after the suit is filed, the defense still plays the delay game, so it doesn’t end there. It is customary once a suit is filed to allow opposing counsel additional time to respond to discovery, for example – and defense will always ask for this time. Setting hearings, too, takes time to schedule, even if we know the judge will see things our way.
Whether you’re suing another person or a company, the insurance company and their attorneys are ultimately defending the case. It is easy for them to sit back and play the delay game because they aren’t the ones suffering from injuries that are wreaking havoc on their lives. In fact, they will use this knowledge against you in every suit as the Plaintiff’s suffering has long been considered one of the insurance company’s tools to effectuating favorable settlements.
Ultimately, law suits take time. The delay game is the defense’s game. But you should always know whether you case is in suit, and why it isn’t in suit if it is not. We always encourage aggressive filing of law suits. If you should have any questions, please contact us for a free consultation.