There are so many reasons why this might be. Let’s first start with the time it takes to recover from one’s injury. Some injuries take many months or years, to recover from. Unless, there is a policy limit issue (i.e., there is not enough insurance available to cover all the damages) waiting for the healing process to reach a stable point is critical to achieve the best possible recovery. If you settle too soon, then all the injuries will not be properly addressed in the settlement proposal. Generally, prompt medical care and completion of treatment results in earlier settlements. Following a doctor’s advice for treatment is also generally best for reaching a reasonable settlement.
Another reason is that the insurance company and its adjuster are being unreasonable in adjusting the claim. For example, if our office issues an initial demand for $15,000, but the insurance company refuses to resolve the matter for more than $6,000, we might have to take additional time to work on the insurance company to increase the settlement offer while we inch our demand lower to get to a reasonable settlement compromise. Some times extra time is necessary to more fully development key points that add value to the claim, resulting in increased offers.
A third reason is that the insurance company and our side, do not see eye-to-eye on the issue of liability for the claim, causation of the injuries or the value of the claim. This may then result in filing a lawsuit. From start to finish, a lawsuit can take years to reach trial. Throughout the entire time the lawsuit is pending, we are pushing to secure a reasonable settlement, but sometimes the two sides cannot reach an agreement and a judge or jury needs to make the final decision.
Finally, with some law offices, not ours, the attorney does not keep track of the cases and allow his/her staff to manage the cases from start to finish. In our office, we have an extensive case management system supervised and reviewed routinely by myself. Utilizing excellent team members, our technology and constantly paying attention to our cases help us move the cases along as quickly as is practical for the particular circumstances.