Unfortunately, it may. Defendants rarely, if ever, roll over and offer to settle a case for an amount that would adequately compensate an accident victim based on a single demand letter. If liability for the accident is disputed, experts and third party witnesses must be involved to determine the cause of the accident and who was actually responsible. Medical providers must also be involved. In addition, the case load of the court in which the cause of action is filed can impact the pace of the case.
How long could the process take?
Many cases take between six (6) months to two (2) years to get resolved by settlement or trial. In a personal injury action, you don't want your case resolved until you've reached maximum medical improvement. If you had an operation, this means you wait until you have recovered from your injuries to the fullest extent. You don't want to resolve a case only to learn that additional, costly medical procedures are necessary to treat continued physical problems.
The speed with which cases move through courts is different in every county. Some counties have dockets which move relatively quickly, while other counties are bogged down with overloaded judges and case calendars.
In addition, you must understand that the lawyers who represent the insurance companies are not interested in a quick resolution of your case. They get paid by billing time to the file. The more hours they bill on the case, the more money they make. They have no financial incentive to end the case quickly. The longer the case takes, the better it is for them financially. Unfortunately, this dynamic can and does impact the speed of personal injury cases.
Whatever the cause of action, don't get discouraged by the length of time it may take. Instead, understand that an experienced professional will be working hard to pursue your rights and hold others accountable for their actions.