People often ask us how long their will claim take. The rhetorical response could refer to a piece of string. We know the average times cases take and we regularly review this. However, in a specific case it can be difficult to give a reasonable estimate.
When you prang your car, quite often the property damage claim can be resolved within a couple of weeks. Because the amounts in dispute are usually much lower, the insurers often have rules of thumb and deals to avoid spending too much time and energy fighting liability battles when they don’t need to. However, when it comes to an injury claim, because these are worth much more, determining whether to admit fault is often a much more thorough and detailed process.
Even if liability is admitted, often a contributor to a lengthy period to finalisation is the injured person. Because a claim can only be resolved once, and is virtually always on a “once and for all” basis, a prudent solicitor should wait for their client’s condition to reach a state of certainty or maximum improvement. If further surgery is proposed, this should take place beforehand, mainly because operations can be risky.
Preparing a case for Court is time consuming and once a matter is issued it can still take some time to reach mediation or Court. I should acknowledge that the ACT Courts have improved their time from commencement to resolution. Now matters are either resolved or heard within about a year of commencement, which benefits everybody involved.
The final delay can unfortunately involve the bureaucracy, be it either institutional defendants, insurers, or the lawyers. In each stage of a claim, it can take quite some time to prepare, send or receive correspondence vital to the case.
At Blumers, we use sophisticated case management software and regular file reviews to keep our clients’ matters on track. This means no case becomes a dust-covered pile of papers in somebody’s bottom drawer. We are always looking at ways that we can build a strong case and progress the matter to our client’s benefit.