The outcome of a personal injury lawsuit is dependent on many different factors, which can only be analyzed on a case to case basis. On a general level, how long a case takes to conclude is largely dependent on the nature and extent of injuries and the relationship between concerned parties. On a more specific note, here are a couple of steps to take to ensure that the timeline of your personal injury lawsuit remains consistent and streamlined throughout.
Seek Medical Assistance
As soon as you get out of an accident scene, find a way to get to the hospital for treatment, even if you are not under any pain at the moment. An appointment with the doctor is key to having your injuries documented (which will help in the event of trial), but most importantly, it will help you get timely treatment in case of any injuries.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
After getting out of the treatment room, consider contacting a personal injury attorney – ideally one who specializes in your type of injury – to advice you on the way forward. Even if you don’t plan to file a lawsuit and only want an insurance settlement, getting an attorney will considerably increase your chances of success. Matter of fact, personal injury settlements for claimants represented by attorneys are 3.5 times larger than for people who do it all alone, according to data from the Insurance Research Council.
Gather Crucial Data
After hiring an attorney, they will set out to gather as much facts and data about your injury accident as they can. This may include medical documents, financial statements and work progress. It is advisable to cooperate with your attorney in regards to this endeavor to help determine the size and extent of a potential lawsuit.
Open Negotiations With The Other Party
After collecting all the relevant facts to the case, your attorney will determine the total claim amount and subsequently draft a demand package, which they will then dispatch to the opposing party. The ensuing discussions may take anywhere from a day to several months, depending on the prevailing circumstances.
File a Lawsuit
If the out-of-court talks are not successful, your attorney will, with your permission, file a lawsuit against the other party in a court of law. In most cases, there is a discovery process, where both parties to a suit share with each other and with the court all the documents, evidence and witness statements they intend to use in the trial. This process may take anywhere from a few weeks to several years.
Last Chance at Negotiation
After the discovery process, one or both parties may wish to pursue another round of talks instead of a protracted trial. Here, the revised settlement offers and counteroffers are brought to the table and discussed more critically.
Proceed to Trial
If the second round of talks doesn’t bear any fruits, the next step is to proceed with a trial. Ideally, your attorney will outline to you all the benefits, risks, costs and possible outcomes of the trial and consequently file the necessary paperwork if you decide to proceed.
How Long Does a Personal Injury Case Take to Solve?
In some cases, personal injury suits are settled within weeks, especially if they don’t proceed to trial. Other times, they can drag on for years, to the possible detriment of both parties. Therefore, getting an experienced personal injury attorney as well as following the right steps is one way to ensure a quick and beneficial resolution.