Many people are hesitant to file a lawsuit because they envision a long and drawn-out legal battle in the courtroom. Not all personal injury cases take a long time to resolve, however. Even when they do, they are worthwhile for accident victims to pursue. These claims are often the only way to obtain compensation that can help with medical expenses, lost income, and more. So, if you have been hurt by someone else’s negligence and wish to file a personal injury claim, how long will it take? That is a difficult question for anyone to answer, even after evaluating the facts of your case. However, there are a few guidelines below you can follow to determine how long it will take before your case is finalized.
You may receive your first settlement offer from the other side’s insurance company shortly after the crash. Often this happens just days after an accident while you are still in the hospital. Truthfully, these negotiations can take anywhere from a week to several years. This is because negotiations never really stop until your case is finalized and has been closed.
Filing the Lawsuit
The entire personal injury claims process can be lengthy and often starts with the filing of the lawsuit. When you file a lawsuit against someone else, that person will be served with that lawsuit within 30 to 60 days. After the at-fault party has been served, he or she then usually have 30 to 45 days to respond to the lawsuit. This means it can take as long as three months before the case can proceed.
After the defendant has filed a response, the discovery process will begin. This phase occurs before the trial begins and allows both sides to exchange information and evidence they have collected. The discovery process can take quite some time.
Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution that many people choose because it is a much shorter process than going to trial. Mediation typically will not start until at least nine months, and sometimes up to 18 months, after your accident. After that, the actual mediation process is usually quite quick and sometimes only takes one or two days.
Trials take the longest in personal injury claims. These are the long and bitter courtroom battles too many accident victims envision when they consider filing a claim. However, only a small minority of cases end up at trial. Once a trial has begun, it can take anywhere between a couple of days or a couple of weeks to resolve the issue. Trials do not usually start until over one year after the accident.
Our California Personal Injury Attorneys can Help With Your Case
If you have been hurt due to someone else’s carelessness, you likely have a valid personal injury case. You probably also do not want that case hanging over your head for a long time to come. At Willoughby Brod, LLP, our San Francisco personal injury attorneys can help your case proceed as quickly and smoothly as possible. To make that happen, we negotiate aggressively with the other side and collect the necessary evidence to make it harder for the other side to deny your claim. If you are injured, call us today at (800) 427-7020 to schedule your free case evaluation.