If you were recently injured by the actions of another party, you may contemplate filing a personal injury lawsuit against that party. The following is some information regarding the amount of time it takes for a typical personal injury lawsuit to be resolved.
What Factors Determine How Long a Personal Injury Lawsuit Will Take?
The amount of time that it takes for a personal injury lawsuit to be resolved will depend on some of the following factors:
- The complexity of the case: The more complex the details of your personal injury case are, the longer it will likely take for your case to get resolved. This is because more complex cases typically require obtaining extensive evidence, which is a time-consuming process.
- The amount of damages involved: If you are seeking a significant amount of damages, your case may take longer to resolve, especially if the liable party is adamant about refusing to pay such an amount. For example, if you are seeking $1 million in damages, your case is much more likely to last longer than if you were seeking only $1,000 in damages.
- The severity of your injuries: The more severe your injury, the longer your case may take to resolve. This is because a more severe injury will likely require more extensive medical treatment, which can sometimes take months or even years. An example of a severe injury is brain damage or death, versus a milder injury, such as a sprain.
- The caseload in your jurisdiction: A lot of how long your case might take will depend on the court’s caseload in your jurisdiction. Scheduling conflicts may extend the length of your case.
- The defendant’s willingness to settle: The faster the defendant decides to settle, the quicker your case will resolve. If you decide to accept the defendant’s settlement offer, the case will end as soon as you sign the settlement contract.
How Long Does a Typical Personal Injury Case Take?
Every personal injury case is different and as such, the amount of time it will take for the case to be resolved fluctuates. A lawsuit can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few years. However, the average case typically adheres to the following timeline:
- After hiring a personal injury attorney, that attorney will investigate the details of your claim. The attorney will need to obtain all of your medical records relating to the treatment you received for your injuries, as well as any related bills. This process could take a few weeks to a month.
- After investigating your claim, the attorney will file a lawsuit on your behalf. Afterwards, the discovery phase occurs. During this phase, each party investigates the other side’s legal claims and defenses. This process can last anywhere from six months to a year, depending on the court’s deadlines and the complexity of the case.
- After the discovery phase, the trial occurs. At trial, each party must prove his or her case before the court. A personal injury trial can last a day, a week, or could even take months, based on the factors discussed above.