How long a personal injury lawsuit takes depends on the circumstances of each case. Each differs in fact pattern, the severity of injuries, insurance policies, and damages, making it difficult to predict their duration. However, the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) at the U.S. Department of Justice reports that it takes the average personal injury case one to two years to receive a resolution. More complex cases can take longer.
How Long Does a Personal Injury Lawsuit Take: Stages of a Personal Injury Case
The following stages may give insight into the standard events that occur in a personal injury case:
- Hiring a personal injury lawyer: We recommend that you take this step right after seeking medical attention for your injuries. Contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your case. Once the lawyer accepts the case and alerts the parties involved, the work begins. This will help ensure you do not miss any deadlines.
- Discovery process: Your lawyer would investigate the accident thoroughly and review police reports and medical records. They would enter witness statements and conduct depositions if necessary. This stage also includes sending demand letters, waiting for you to reach maximum medical improvement, and waiting for feedback from the insurance companies.
- Mediation and Negotiation: There may be an attempt to settle the case. This can be done through negotiation, mediation, or arbitration. If the other party fails to agree to a fair settlement, the case can proceed to trial. How soon your lawyer files the lawsuit may depend on the statute of limitations in your state.
- Going to trial: In addition to the jury hearing the case, both parties would present their motions and arguments to the court. In this stage, there may be a unanimous decision to settle the case.
- Verdict and collection: The jury will decide whether to award you damages, and if so, what to award you. The defense may appeal the awards set by the jury. If successful, there could be a new trial, or the defendant could pay a lower amount than what the jury set. If the plaintiff wins, the defendant must pay the amount ordered by the jury. Per collection, the amount may be a lump sum or a payment plan.
Reasons for Delays in Resolving Claims
Sometimes, personal injury cases take years to receive a resolution for reasons such as the complexity of the case, the severity of injuries, the caseload in your jurisdiction, or the defendant’s unwillingness to settle.
Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
If you are wondering how long does a personal injury lawsuit take and are considering filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit, the team at Montero Law Center may be able to help you. We are a personal injury law firm rooted in the old-fashioned values of faith, family, and hard work.
For more information, call us at (954) 767-6500 to speak to a member of our team.