A very small percentage of accident claims ever go to trial in Illinois. The parties often resolve the case by a settlement at some time during the proceedings. Many claims never reach the trial stage because of a settlement. However, there is never a set timeline for any case to settle.
Settling your claim with a third-party insurance company takes patience, understanding, and fortitude. Some cases settle faster than others. The speed with which a case reaches settlement often depends on how egregious the third-party actions were and the severity of the injuries you suffered. Therefore, you cannot compare your case to another’s if your case does not settle as fast as someone else’s case. They are as diverse from one another as you are from that other person.
You must bear in mind that insurance companies will not settle with you for the amount you want simply because you were hurt in an accident. In other words, you must convince them that you deserve the settlement you have demanded. Otherwise, the insurance company will not take you seriously, and it could affect how the insurer deals with you. If you demand $1 million in a settlement but only had back pain that completely healed after a month of treatment and you only missed work for two days, then the insurance company is not likely to see you as a real victim. On the other hand, for example, if you missed a year out of work, spent six months in traction, needed several surgeries to repair the damage and might need more in the future, coupled with the harsh reality that you will never walk right again, then your claim is not as easily dismissed.
There is another issue that can delay settlement. Limitation of insurance companies’ liability often forces lawyers to search elsewhere for insurance proceeds. If the person who hit you only had the statutory minimum of $20,000.00 and your medical bills were well over that, your lawyer might need to file a first-party claim with your insurance company or investigate to see if liability could attach elsewhere.
Just before the second anniversary of your accident, you must file a case in court if you have not settled. You might push your case to trial if the insurance company is not dealing with you fairly. However, courts encourage parties to work out their differences without resorting to a trial, and most cases do settle.
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Stein & Shulman, LLC has over 45 years of combined experienced in Illinois Personal Injury Law. You can receive a free and instant case review by calling our office at 312.422.0500.