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How Long Will my Personal Injury Lawsuit Take?

How long will my Personal Injury Lawsuit take?
Our clients often ask how long their lawsuit will take to settle.  The answer is we don’t know for certain because each case is different.  However, in our experience the average personal injury lawsuit takes 20 months to be resolved from the time the accident occurred. 
 
Timeline of a Lawsuit
 
Accident
The day of the accident is important because this is when your case begins. 
 
Your injury may have been due to a motor vehicle accident, a slip and fall, a worker’s comp accident or other accidents.  Whatever the cause, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. 
 
Treatment
The first thing you should do after an accident is seek treatment.  If you are not taken away in an ambulance you should take yourself to the hospital or doctor as soon as possible to assess your condition.  Your injuries may require surgery if they are serious enough. 
 
The amount of money spent on treating is directly correlated with the compensation awarded.  You should not settle your case until you stop treating because you don’t know the total amount of damages you’re owed.
 
Getting a Lawyer to represent you
We’re not all legal experts and that’s ok.  You’ll need to hire someone to represent you in your personal injury case. 
 
You can find an attorney on the web or through a referral.  Use an attorney that works on a contingency basis because they only get paid if you win. 
 
Demand
Your attorney may make a demand to the other party’s attorney or their insurance company.  In our experience roughly ½ of all personal injury cases are resolved before a lawsuit is ever filed. 
 
The demand is a letter from your attorney to the defendant’s insurance company requesting fair damages for your injuries. 
 
Filing the Lawsuit
Filing the lawsuit gets the wheels in motion for the case to go to trial.  Generally it takes one to two years from the time a lawsuit is filed before a trial date.  The amount of time depends on a number of factors such as your treatment, discovery, depositions and how many cases are in front of yours at your local court house. 
 
A lawsuit needs to be filed within a certain timeframe, also known as the statute of limitations, based on the type of case. 
 
Discovery
Discovery allows each party to investigate the validity of the claim and defense.  These efforts include questioning through written interrogatories, document requests, admittance or denial of any key facts in the case, and oral questioning through depositions. 
 
Mediation/Arbitration
The lawyers may negotiate a settlement between themselves or go into mediation in an effort to settle the case.  The mediation process uses a mediator as a 3rd party instead of a judge.  Mediation and arbitration can be both binding or nonbinding. 
 
Trial
If mediation doesn’t work the case goes to trial.  The trial can last a day, week or even a month.  In our experience less than 5% of personal injury cases go to trial.  The remaining 95% are resolved pretrial. 
 
Summary
Lawsuits are a lengthy process between two parties.  The plaintiff wants to get the maximum amount of damages while the defendant wants to pay as little and late as possible. 
 
Often the plaintiff will run out of money while awaiting their settlement.  This gives the upper hand to the defendant, usually an insurance company, with deep pockets. 
 
If you are the plaintiff in a personal injury case and want to maximize the value of your case, but you need cash now, call Bridgeway Legal Funding for help at 800-531-4066.  
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