Getting the personal injury claim settlement that you deserve for your injuries takes time. How much time? Let’s take a look at how the process works.
Getting Medical and Legal Help
Before you start worrying about how long the settlement process takes, you need to get the medical treatment that you need. When you are hurt, the first thing that you should do is see a doctor. If your injuries are severe, go to the hospital. Doing so is not only paramount for your health and safety—it can also help you document your injuries so that you can get the right amount of compensation. Failing to seek medical treatment could keep you from winning any settlement at all.
You’re also going to need the help of an expert attorney. Don’t choose just any attorney. Your pick should be well versed in personal injury matters and have experience at trial. Even for injuries that aren’t that serious, having an experienced attorney by your side is a good idea. Finding the right attorney to take on your case could take a matter of weeks or even months, so the sooner you start, the quicker your case will be resolved.
Once you choose an attorney, the first thing that they will do is investigate your claim. During this part of the process, your lawyer will interview you and gather important documentation, such as your medical records and the bills you’ve accrued from treatment.
The investigation portion can take months to get all the necessary documentation in order. After your attorney has a chance to review everything, they will tell you whether you have a case.
Filing the Lawsuit
Unless you are badly in need of the money, your attorney will not attempt to reach a settlement until after filing a lawsuit. The reason for this is that injuries can take many months or even years before they are fully healed. Settling before you are fully healed could lead to a massive undervaluing of your injuries.
After your lawyer files the lawsuit on your behalf, you can expect to wait a while before your case makes it to trial. In some cases, you could end up waiting one or two years before seeing the inside of a courtroom. One of the reasons it takes so long is that the attorneys need time to investigate and discuss the case.
During the discovery process, each party’s attorney investigates the claims of the other side. The attorneys send questions and document requests to the opposing counsel and conduct depositions on all relevant parties during this time. Discovery can take six months to a year to complete.
While some cases can be settled between attorneys, some require a third party to act as mediator. Mediation allows both sides to lay out their case with the intent of settling out of court.
If mediation is unsuccessful, your case will go to trial. Personal injury trials can last anywhere from a day to several weeks. Your case may even be rescheduled several times if the judge’s schedule is busy, so be prepared for a slow process.
Get the Personal Injury Claim Settlement You Need and Deserve
While we can’t give you a definitive answer to how long it will take you to get your personal injury claim settlement, we can tell you that we will be there to guide you every step of the way. If you were injured, get in touch with us so we can discuss your case.