After you are hurt in an accident and think you should sue someone for your injuries, you may wonder just how long it will take to complete the lawsuit. All personal injury lawsuits take a different amount of time. How long yours could take depends on factors like:
- The people involved in the case
- The injuries you have suffered
- The types of damages you are looking to recover.
Let’s take a look at the steps taken in a lawsuit. An attorney can look at the facts of your case and give you a personalized estimate of how long it may take. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates, PC can give you an estimate on how long your case may take. Set up a free consultation today by calling 888-848-5084 or contact us online.
What Happens Directly After An Accident?
In California, everyone who has suffered from an injury resulting from another person’s negligent, reckless, or intentional conduct has the right to seek compensation. Once you decide to pursue that compensation, the personal injury lawsuit timeline starts.
Seek Medical Treatment
If you have been injured, even just a little bit, you should get medical treatment right away. By going to be seen by a medical professional, you ensure they can write a report for your injuries which may be very helpful later in the lawsuit process. More importantly, it ensures you will receive prompt treatment for your injuries, and you can start the healing process.
Find A Personal Injury Lawyer
After you have been treated for your injuries, your head may start spinning with all of the tasks you must do next. Before talking to the insurance companies, consider talking to an experienced personal injury lawyer.
An attorney can help you make the next best steps and help ensure your case will be filed by the appropriate deadline. All personal injury cases have a deadline by which they must be filed. This is called a statute of limitations. If your case is not filed within this deadline, the court will not allow you to recover compensation. In California, you must file your case within two years from the date of the injury.
Once you have hired a lawyer, your lawyer will start the investigation process. This includes reviewing your medical records and requesting documents from the accident. They may even hire an investigator. In this stage, your attorney will start to put the pieces together and determine the best course of action for the case.
Filing A Lawsuit
Finally, in the last of the pre-stages, your attorney will prepare the paperwork and file your lawsuit with the court. There may be a chance that your lawsuit will settle with the insurance company before this occurs, but it may also continue to trial. In the documents filed with the court, the attorney will have to notify the other side and allow them a certain time period to respond to being sued.
In Court Process
After the lawsuit is filed and the other party responds, the process of the lawsuit will continue. This is where the timeline could be quick or take a longer time. Each party has a set amount of time to respond to each document, and it usually makes the process take longer than initially expected.
If the lawsuit is still continuing and has not been settled, the attorneys will meet with the judge and set up a plan for some of the main dates and stages of the case. The first stage is the discovery process. This is where each party can ask the other party for information and use this information for their case. Attorneys may do this in a number of ways which include; interrogatories, document requests, and depositions.
Pre-Trial Negotiation and Mediation
Typically, the discovery process can take a few months. Throughout this process, your attorney will continue to talk to the other party and the insurer to see if they would like to settle the case for an amount that is acceptable for you. This process can take place through a formal, non-court supervised process like mediation. In mediation, a neutral third party hears the evidence and makes recommendations to try to get the parties to come to a settlement agreement. If this negotiation process does not work, the case will continue to trial.
If the case does not have a settlement between the parties yet, the case will go to trial. The trial can either be just before a judge or before a judge and a jury. Each party will be able to present evidence and witnesses and have the chance to question each of them. The trial may take a few days or even a few weeks. At the conclusion, the judge or the jury will decide who is liable and how much the damages will be. This verdict is final.
Will My Case Go All The Way To Trial?
It is hard to predict what cases will go all the way to trial and which cases will settle sooner in the process, but your attorney can look at the facts and give you an idea of what to expect. According to the Department of Justice Statistics, 96 to 97% of all personal injury lawsuits settle before going to trial.
Although it is rare, your case may be the one that goes to trial.
California Personal Injury Attorneys
If you have been injured and you are wondering how long it will take to put this whole headache behind you, consulting with one of our experienced attorneys can help you prepare for the long road ahead. We will be able to look at the facts of your case and be right by your side throughout the process.
The personal injury attorneys at The Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates, PC, are ready to help you navigate through your personal injury lawsuit. Schedule a consultation today by calling 888-848-5084 or contacting us online.
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