Why does it take so LONG, Part 2

by keith on 21/07/11 at 3:09 pm

This is the second in a short series of posts about a common question, “Why does it take so long to complete a claim?”

In the first post, here, we discussed the main reason that your claim takes a long time to resolve. The insurance company delays the process because it’s playing the odds that the injured person won’t stick the process out to the end.  Then it wins.

The second reason it takes a long time to resolve your claim is a little more obscure. Most of the time, the attorneys for the insurance company are paid by the hour. More time = More money.   A great description of how this delays the process was written by Alan Crede at the Boston Personal Injury Lawyer Blog.

“Litigation tends to be drawn out not by the personal injury lawyer looking for his contingency fee but by the “taxi meter” defense lawyer who is billing his client. It is the billable hour lawyer who has every incentive to drag out the litigation, to file frivolous and harassing motions. Every young plaintiff’s lawyer in a case of clear-cut liability and damages has had the experience of turning to another lawyer and asking the question, “Why are they dragging this thing out? Why don’t they just pay up and settle? It would be cheaper.” And the reply, always the same, is, “They have to get their billables. They need to bill to the case.”

The defense attorneys need to eat.  They have to make mortgage and BMW payments.  Thus, they have to bill the insurance company for hours spent on cases.  If they resolve the case quickly for a fair value, they will have problems making their billables. They would also look bad to their (insurance company) client because they weren’t a “bulldog” who fought hard (i.e. long, exhausting all available defenses) for his client.

The defense lawyer has NO motive to resolve the case quickly.  It’s unfortunate, but the system is set up not to encourage the quick resolution of claims.

29 Responses to “Why does it take so LONG, Part 2”

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