It takes time to settle a personal injury case. There are a lot of factors that go into the timing.
While you may want it all to be over with as quickly as possible that’s not always a good idea. Sometimes it can take months for all of the complications of an injury to come to light. You should never settle a personal injury case until you’re sure that you know the extent of all of the injuries.
However, much depends on other factors such as the complexity of the case and the willingness of all parties to come to a fair settlement.
Each case goes through a specific process. On average this process takes 12 to 18 months when the court is involved.
The process starts when you hire a personal injury lawyer. The attorney will start communicating with the insurance company on your behalf.
The attorney will also start to gather all of the information that he or she can gather. He or she will try to ascertain what happened and who is responsible. He or she might find other insurance companies or parties who might also be responsible for paying damages.
Negotiations for a settlement may start shortly after you hire the attorney. Taking a settlement is always your choice. Your attorney will advise you, however, on whether or not the settlement is fair.
Remember, the goal of a good settlement is to ensure that your medical bills, lost wages, legal expenses, and property damages are paid for so that you can get on with your life and get back on your feet.
You may well be entitled to a large sum of money many times higher than the sum of your medical bills. You won’t know unless you hire a qualified personal injury lawyer to help you.
The actual lawsuit starts when a complaint is delivered to the defendant. This will spark a more formal investigation process called “discovery.”
Discovery consists of interrogatories, which are written questions asked to each party involved in the case, and depositions, which are face-to-face question and answer sessions. The law requires answers during this process that could legally be withheld during more informal investigations.
Sometimes information will come out in this process that will strengthen your settlement position. Your attorney can use this information to encourage settlement offers that are more reasonable and fair.
Discovery can take a few months to a year, depending on the number of parties involved. A settlement could happen at any time during this process. The trial is only scheduled if both parties can’t reach a fair agreement before the discovery process is over with.
Court calendars are crowded, so you can expect to wait at least 6-9 months before your court date if the case has to go all the way to trial. 95% of the time it does not.
Of course, your focus should not be on the length of time that the process is taking. Your focus should be on getting the justice you need, however long it takes.
The personal injury attorneys at Barna, Guzy & Steffen have decades of experience in helping our clients get the best possible outcomes for their accident cases. We fight for our clients because we understand exactly what’s at stake. If you’ve been involved in an accident call us today to begin your road to recovery.