Why Is My Personal Injury Case Taking So Long?

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work injury

When you have been injured to the extent that you are required to take time off work or amend your working hours, it can be agonising having to wait for your claim for compensation to be processed. Depending on the individual circumstances of each claim, personal injury cases can be processed relatively quickly or they could take some time to be finalised; there is no set timeline adhered to.

It may be useful to understand what can cause a personal injury case to take so long to process. Here are some common reasons.

Your claim is missing information

Claims for compensation must be completed with detailed and accurate information in order for them to be properly assessed. There are also strict deadlines attached to personal injury claims, so it is important that all requests are adhered to ensure the claim can be assessed in a timely manner.

Before you submit your claim you must be certain that everything has been supplied in the requested format, as missing or inaccurate information can result in your claim being returned to you for completion, which can add to the excruciating waiting period you have already endured.

Your condition has not reached Maximum Medical Improvement

In order to assess the damage caused by the injury enough time must have passed for the claimant to have begun to heal. If the claim is assessed too early, the full impact of the injury may not yet be known, and the compensation may not adequately cover the medical costs and lost wages. Conversely, the injury could be one which will heal over time and if compensation were to be awarded too early it may not match the true extent of the damage.

To achieve balance and ensure fair compensation is awarded, the injury must have reached maximum medical improvement which means it will not progressively become worse and that even if the claimant is not back to full duties their condition has stabilised and will continue to remain stable or even without medical treatment for the next 12 months. Once this stage is reached the case can be assessed based on the facts at hand. A claimant can expect to reach this point between six-to-twelve months after the injury is sustained, however, it could be longer depending on individual factors.

An Independent Medical Examination is required

Often, a second opinion is required by the insurer to determine the medical opinion of the claimant’s primary medical practitioner. This second opinion is sought by an independent medical assessor who can provide a neutral and unbiased opinion on the claimant’s condition, expected healing time, recommended treatment plan and the long-term impact the injury will have on the claimant’s ability to work and maintain their quality of life. It is normal for this appointment to be arranged by the insurer and it is crucial that the appointment is kept to avoid further delays or costs.

There is a general backlog of claims

Sometimes a personal injury case can take a long time to process simply because there are a lot of claims being assessed. Your application may have been completed perfectly and contain all the relevant evidence, but it is just sitting in a queue waiting to be assessed.

Seeking the assistance of a personal injury lawyer when making a claim for compensation is beneficial in many ways and can even help your claim to be assessed faster. Personal injury lawyers know how to prepare strong claims for compensation. They understand what evidence is required and when, and they will not waste any time trying to ascertain what something means or how to provide documentation to satisfy that portion of the claim.

Personal injury lawyers also have professional relationships with the insurance companies they deal with on a regular basis and this mutual respect and understanding can be beneficial in speeding up assessment times.

If you have been injured and need to make a claim for compensation, our experienced personal injury lawyers can assist.