Normally, a negotiated settlement gets viewed as one that is faster and easier than the pursuit of a lawsuit. Still, that is not always the case. It could become necessary to hold lengthened negotiations in order to reach a settlement.
Why it might take longer than usual to settle a dispute?
• There could be legal issues to resolve
• There might be facts in dispute
• The plaintiff might have requested a large amount of money.
• The plaintiff feels compelled to wait until reaching the moment of maximum medical improvement (MMI).
What it means if there are legal or factual issues?
The question of liability is a legal issued. There may be questions about the liability of the party that the plaintiff has held responsible for the accident. The facts might not support the plaintiff’s right to sue the defendant. Perhaps the plaintiff has failed to offer acceptable proof of the defendant’s negligence.
How could a request for a large compensation on the plaintiff’s part lengthen the time that it takes to reach a settlement?
The defendant’s insurance company could decide to investigate all possible angles, in hopes of finding a way to reduce the size of the requested compensation package.
The defense team might claim that the plaintiff had managed to aggravate the extent of his or her injury. The defense team might claim that the plaintiff has not introduced a credible charge.
A weakness in the plaintiff’s argument could get pointed to as a reason for reducing the size of the requested compensation package. The other side could be testing the plaintiff, in order to see whether or not he or she might accept a low offer, in hopes of enjoying an early settlement.
What role does the MMI have in determining how long it might take for 2 disputing parties to reach a settlement?
A good lawyer always counsels his or her client to delay the start of negotiations until that same client has attained to the point of maximum medical improvement. Only then can the same client feel certain that he or she will not develop any further symptoms.
The appearance of other symptoms could signal the existence of a serious medical problem. It might cost lots of time and money to fix that same medical problem. The responsible party, the person that caused the worsening condition should be required to cover the plaintiff’s added medical expenses.
The only way that a defendant can be forced to cover those expenses involves delaying negotiations. That delay also forces the defense team to wait, until the time has arrived when it can ask the plaintiff to sign a release. Minus that signature, the defendant could become responsible for newer injuries.