All personal injury cases out there are different – even if they’re based on a simple car crash. For example, one can be solved in two weeks and the other in two years.
If you were to ask a personal injury law firm how long it will take for your injury claim to be processed, they couldn’t give you a specific answer – even if you provided them with all of the information that you have on the case.
Why? Well, let’s look at how an injury claim is processed and find out!
The Process of an Injury Claim
- Engaging an Attorney – this should be done right after the accident, especially if you are subject to medical bills or if you skip work due to your accident.
- Starting the case – this implies rounding up the initial paperwork for the case and consulting with your lawyer. In this step, you’ll also inform the other party of your claim.
- The Discovery Process – this step usually takes six months and up to one year to complete. Depending on certain complications, it may take even longer. The discovery process implies digging up the facts, information, and documents that will build your case.
- Court Motions – keep in mind that your case may be dismissed due to various reasons. Also, court motions may happen before the discovery process as well.
- Attempt to Settle – settlement is usually done via mediation, negotiation, or arbitration. If you do not reach a settlement, then you can file a lawsuit.
- Trial – during a trial, both motions and arguments may occur, but they will be handled separately from the jury that is hearing your case.
- Verdict – one can usually expect a verdict one to two years after filing a suit. If the plaintiff wins, then the defendant will owe them a certain amount, determined by the jury. Keep in mind that the defense may appeal.
- Appeal – in case of a successful appeal, you may have to face a new attempt to settle or a new trial.
- Collection – this implies the collection of the judgment by the plaintiff.
Factors that Influence the Timing of Injury Claims
For example, a slip and fall personal injury is considered as simple and can be settled fast. On the other hand, medical malpractice claims may take years before they are fully resolved.
Moreover, the damages that you wish to be awarded can influence the length of your claim. As such, a quicker claim settlement will amount to roughly one thousand dollars, for example, while a slower one may bring you the million.
Naturally, a patient plaintiff will always be awarded more money than one that wants to settle quickly.
The Bottom Line
Overall, it can take up to three years for you to see the end of your claim. However, this depends on several very important factors.
For example, a settlement can take half the time period mentioned above, especially if done on good terms with the other party. Moreover, keep in mind that most claims end in a settlement, no matter the length of the trial/ proceedings.
As such, it is up to you and your lawyer to decide whether you should rush a claim or try to get the most out of it!