There’s an old saying that the wheels of justice turn slowly. When you’re hurt in a personal injury accident, any amount of waiting for justice can seem like too long. As you make the decision to bring a case in order to recover for your losses, you may wonder how long your case is going to take.
The answer is that each case is different. No attorney can promise you that your case is going to be over in any certain amount of time. There are a number of factors that are out of your attorney’s control such as how the other party responds to the case and the court’s scheduling procedures. However, there are things that you can do in order to make the litigation move as quickly as possible.
Faster is not always better
Although it might seem tempting to resolve the case as quickly as possible, the fastest resolution may not be the best resolution. If the other side makes a fast settlement offer, they may hope that you’ll bite in an effort to dispose of the case quickly. That offer may not fairly represent all of your losses.
Taking the time to thoroughly prepare your case can ultimately mean a larger recovery. If you take the time to obtain medical evaluations to document your injuries and work with analysts and accountants to value your damages, the other side may be more willing to offer you an amount that helps you recover and rebuild your life. Your personal injury attorneys can give you guidance about any settlement offers that you receive. They can help you determine if it’s best to accept a settlement offer or to continue to build your case in anticipation of trial.
How much time?
A case can resolve in as little as a few months, but it’s unusual for a case to resolve that quickly. Most cases take several months or even a year or more. If your case goes to trial, there may be appeals that extend the total length of the case.
Each case is different. Ultimately, if a case is complicated or complex, it’s more likely to take longer to sort out the issues. Your personal injury lawyer can evaluate the details of your case in order to give you a realistic idea of what to expect in your specific case.
You have control
It’s important to remember that you have some say in how long your case takes. If you receive a settlement offer, you get to decide if that’s how you want to resolve the case. You can say yes and end the case, or you can say no and the case goes forward.
Your attorney can tell you what they think about the settlement offer. However, you’re the one who has the final say in whether to continue to pursue the case. This can make you feel as though you have some ownership in the process and the amount of time it takes to resolve.
Working with your attorney
Your personal injury lawyers can work with you to help your case move as quickly as possible. You can help them by making sure that they have all of the information that they need. They need to know when the accident occurred, who may be responsible and what happened. Your attorney wants to hear you tell your story so that they can apply their training and experience in order to help you maximize your recovery. That means, when your attorney has questions, it’s important to get the answers as quickly as possible.
As the case proceeds, you may need to provide additional information. You may have written questions to answer or documents to provide. You may need to have a medical appointment with a professional that the other party chooses. Doing all of these things when you’re asked can help you keep your case on track and moving towards your fair recovery.