If you currently have a personal injury case, or are thinking about starting one, you may wonder how long the entire process will be. Could it go on for months, or even years? This is a valid question that any victim would wonder during or before their personal injury case.
The answer generally depends on your individual case, the severity of your injuries, and the state or jurisdiction, such as Washington, DC, VA or MD, where your personal injury occurred. For example, getting in front of a judge in rural Pennsylvania may take a shorter amount of time than in an overpopulated city, such as New York City. While there is no simple answer for the question, “How long will my personal injury case take?”, there are a few elements that can affect the timeline of your case.
What Are the Steps In My Personal Injury Case?
What is the personal injury process like?
Being involved in a personal injury case may seem like a long process to go through. However, it is necessary and worthwhile if you have been significantly injured in an accident that was the result of another’s negligence. You may experience a loss of income through not being able to work and medical expenses that are piling up. Pursuing a personal injury case is the best possible route to get your life back on track. Basically, the sequence of events in a personal injury case are:
- Hire a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
- Go to a physician for your injuries and receive treatment.
- Contact your insurance if appropriate, where your attorney can try to negotiate a settlement.
- Start your case by filing paperwork and alerting the other party of your claim.
- Enter the “Discovery Phase” where information is exchanged, facts are gathered, and depositions take place. This takes up the majority of time in a personal injury case, and many claims can be settled during this phase.
- If no agreement is reached, a trial is held.
- Verdict is announced typically one year to two years after your personal injury case was started.
Why Might My Personal Injury Case Take Longer to Settle?
There are a few factors that could impact your case’s settlement timeline:
- Multiple claims arose from your accident. If you have been in an accident where more than one party is held responsible for your injuries your case may take longer. Multiple claims could require more time to collect information from all parties to prove more than one party’s negligence.
- There are legal issues in your case. If it is difficult proving liability, your case will take longer to settle. For example, there may be legal issues if your doctor is unsure that your injury was caused by your accident. Until your physician testifies that your injury was the result of your personal injury accident and can prove it by medical evidence, your insurance may not offer a settlement.
- Your medical expenses aren’t fully covered. If you have not recovered from your injuries you may want to continue your personal injury case. Until you have reached a full recovery or a plateau in treatment, you will not know the total cost of treatment for your injuries.
- Level of compensation. If your case is likely to receive significant monetary damages, your insurance company will work their hardest to find a reason to not pay. They may try to prove that your severe injuries aren’t a result of your accident or that you are the negligent party. The more they delay this process, the more likely they think that you will accept a lower settlement. This may cause your personal injury case timeline to lengthen.
Contact Our Personal Injury Attorneys to Start Your Case Today
If you have been injured in an accident, get in touch with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to begin your claim. With so many factors that go into your case, you need an experienced attorney that will work their hardest on your behalf. Our attorneys offer a no-cost, initial consultation and can offer more insight about your unique personal injury case timeline. Contact Regan Zambri Long PLLC today at (202)960-4596 or fill out an online form to get started.