A personal injury is a devastating event. You try to put your life back together while you suffer from physical and emotional pain. Your medical bills mount and you can’t work. It can be hard to know where to turn.
If this happens to you, you might consider working with an personal injury attorney in order to pursue fair compensation from the person or corporation that’s responsible for your injuries. You may wonder how long your case is going to take. That is, from beginning to end, you may want to know how long it’s going to take until you have a check in your hands.
The answer is that no two cases are alike. Some cases can resolve in as little as several weeks. Other cases take many months to resolve. There are many different moving parts in a case. The extent of your injuries, medical records, court scheduling orders and even the motivation of the other party to resolve the case can all affect how long your case takes to resolve.
You have some say over the length of the process
If the other side makes a settlement offer, it’s up to you to decide whether to accept or reject it. Your attorney can give you guidance about whether it’s a fair offer. However, ultimately, the choice is up to you. This gives you some say over how long the litigation takes.
However, in many cases, the other side offers a very low settlement offer up front just to see if they can make the case go away. Many times, this amount is woefully inadequate to represent your losses. Ultimately, the plan with your personal injury lawyers is to weigh all of the factors and reach the best result possible for you. This might mean accepting an early settlement offer. It may also mean taking the case to a jury with the belief that you’ll recover much more.
Things you can do to speed up your case
If you need money as quickly as possible, there are some things that you can do in order to speed up your case. The best thing you can do is stay in touch with your attorney. If they call you, call them back right away. If they give you instructions to complete paperwork, do the work as soon as you can. You may have to answer questions from the other side or submit to a medical examination. The sooner you get these things done, the sooner your attorney can take the next steps in the case.
Part of understanding why a case takes months to resolve is understanding the legal process. When you file a case, the other side has several weeks to prepare a response. They may state that they agree with you about everything or that they disagree completely. They might agree with you about some facts and conclusions of law but not others.
After that, both sides have time to prepare their case. This can include noticing depositions so that witnesses have to talk about what happened under oath. This can include asking the other side to make admissions about certain facts. You may need time to consult with medical experts who might testify on your behalf. You may also talk to an expert who can reconstruct the accident.
Once this process is complete, your personal injury lawyers have time to pursue a settlement with the other side. Sometimes, having complete information about the case helps you reach a meeting of the minds with the other side in order to reach a fair settlement. This settlement process may include mediation, and it may include written offers back and forth between the parties.
If the case still doesn’t reach a settlement, the court schedules it for trial. The complexity of the case affects its length as well as court schedules and the other side’s willingness to pay you a fair settlement. Ultimately, hiring an attorney can get the case started as soon as possible, so that you can receive fair compensation for your losses.