How Long Does a Personal Injury Lawsuit Take: What You Can Expect
If you have been in an accident that has left you injured, filing a personal injury lawsuit may be a natural step to receive compensation for your losses. Some people may be put off by the idea of pursuing a claim since they do not know how long it will take. While no personal injury attorney can provide an exact timeframe for settling your case, they can outline what you are likely to expect, which means you may get a general idea of the days, weeks, or months to set aside for this process.
The Time Frame of a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Determining how long does a personal injury lawsuit take can depend on how complicated your case is. If there is enough evidence to determine outright that another person or entity is to blame, a settlement can occur in as little as a few days or weeks. However, the more complex a case is, the longer the case can take to come to a conclusion. That time frame can also depend on whether a case is settled between the defendant, liable party, and their insurance company, or if it goes to trial.
Receiving Medical Treatment
Accidents can cause a number of injuries – some life-threatening – that impact your way of life. Surprisingly, how you manage the reporting of these injuries can dictate how long a personal injury lawsuit takes. Immediately after the accident happens, seek medical care. The subsequent medical report may bolster a claim while reducing the risk of the insurance adjuster assuming that your injuries were not severe or accident-related.
Completing the Investigation
An investigation can take days, weeks, or months, depending on how much evidence there is to compile and the severity of the accident. Your lawyer needs to have access to your background, medical condition and treatment, accident-related costs, and information about the scene. After reviewing all of this information, they can determine if you have a case to pursue.
Making a Demand
The demands and negotiations process can take several months. This is because many attorneys wait until you have finished all your medical treatment to determine how much that accident cost you. However, sometimes they can make an accurate determination before that happens. At this point, your lawyer can make a demand to the insurance company or negligent party’s attorney with a figure. If they accept your demand, the case can be settled quickly. Otherwise, your personal injury attorney may file a lawsuit.
Filing a Lawsuit
Several steps make up the filing of a lawsuit, including the discovery phase, mediation and negotiation, and the trial itself. The discovery phase can take months, or even up to a year. In contrast, mediation is a meeting involving lawyers and clients to try settle the case. If not successful, a trial can take a day, a week, or longer. These time frames and steps ultimately depend on the complexities of the case.
Every personal injury case is unique, which means that no attorney can say with complete accuracy how long it will take. However, using their years of experience, they can often provide an estimate. If you have been involved in an accident, requesting a free consultation with a personal injury attorney can mean you gain insight into what the road ahead looks like.