Nearly 30 million people are injured from accidents each year to the point that they need to receive emergency treatment.
A small portion of those accidents is so severe that they lead to death.
If you’ve been involved in an accident and are reading this article, be glad that you’ve come away with your life. Still, if you’re like most people, you’re likely still reeling from the effects of your unfortunate event.
Many people who are trying to piece their lives back together after an accident choose to file a personal injury lawsuit to help them cope with their life’s new barriers.
While many who file lawsuits assume that their cases will be settled quickly and that they’ll be able to switch their focus back to healing sooner than later, the truth is, personal injury cases can take a very long time.
If you’re curious about how long your injury case could take to close, keep reading.
Below, we disclose averages and walk you through what an elongated case timeline might look like.
How Long Does the Average Personal Injury Case Take to Close?
Unfortunately, there are no hard averages that we can share with you when it comes to personal injury cases.
Based on what we’ve heard from personal injury victims, ranges might be between 6-months and 3-years.
How quickly your lawyer can get the opposing party’s lawyer to come to an agreement will be the primary factor that either hastens or elongates your process.
What Does the Personal Injury Lawsuit Timeline Look Like?
Below, we’ve broken down what each step of a personal injury case timeline looks like so that you can get an understanding of where you’re at and how many more steps you may need to take.
Step One – The Accident
The first thing that takes palace when it comes to an injury lawsuit is the accident. After an accident, evidence will be collected by police and medical professionals on site.
If a victim or one of their party members are able to do so, it’s a good idea to collect evidence of their own.
Step Two – Getting Medical Treatment
After an accident, it’s important that you get assessed by a doctor immediately to identify physical or physiological damage. Many people make the mistake of not seeing their doctor because they’re not in pain and then later experience issues.
Then, when your medical history is brought up in court, your opposition will be able to use you not going to the doctor as proof that you weren’t really injured.
Step Three – Find a Lawyer
After you’ve received treatment, contact a personal injury attorney in your area to see if any will be willing to take your case.
Your attorney will want to interview you about your experience and will likely want to see any proof that you have in the way of photos, witness information and your physician’s notes.
It may take a couple of attorney interviews to find one that’s willing to take your case, so be patient.
Step Four – Demands and Negotiation
When an attorney takes your case, they’ll likely want you to continue finishing any treatment that you need to get done so that they can fully estimate the total value of your case.
Once they know how much money to ask for from the opposition, they’ll contact their attorney and make a request.
If the opposition’s attorney agrees, you’ll receive your settlement and the case will close. If they don’t, negotiations will take place which will hopefully still result in a settlement.
If negotiations are fruitless, then your attorney will file a formal lawsuit.
After your lawsuit has been filed, your attorney will get to work on building your case as will the opposition’s attorney. If you receive any inquiries during this time from external parties, direct everything to your attorney.
Anything you say or do could jeopardize your case.
The Final Settlement Opportunity
There will be one more chance after investigations have been conducted for a settlement to be reached prior to going to trial (which neither side wants).
Your attorney and the opposition’s will present cases to one another and based on each case’s strength, will try to work out a deal. If a deal isn’t reached, you will need to go to trial.
Trials can be lengthy.
Your lawyer will step you through everything that you need to do to ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible so try not to worry too much if this is where your case ends up.
If after the trial the jury decides in your favor, the settlement you receive will likely be much larger than you would have gotten had a settlement been reached in a previous stage.
If you do not get a favorable result, you won’t get a settlement and your attorney usually won’t get paid either since injury attorneys tend to work on contingency.
Wrapping Up How Long Can a Personal Injury Lawsuit Go On?
As you can see, the question of “How long can a personal injury lawsuit go on?” can be a rather complimented once. That’s because how soon you’re able to get a settlement will have a deep impact on your case’s ability to move forward.
We wish you the best of luck in getting your personal injury case resolved in a timely fashion and implore you to read more content on “In News Weekly” should you have more questions on injury treatment, legal matters or related topics.