The settlement of a personal injury suit can be a long and protracted journey, depending on the nature and extent of your injuries. The relationship between the parties concerned will also have a bearing on the duration of the case.
However, by contacting a personal injury attorney, you can expedite the process and increase your chances of success. The lawyer will be able to offer advice on whether you should file a lawsuit or pursue an insurance settlement. Here are a few steps that will guide your personal injury lawsuit timeline to ensure it’s as smooth and as consistent as possible.
Seek Urgent Medical Advice
After an accident, you should be to seek immediate medical assistance before anything else, even if you are feeling well with no visible signs of injury. The doctor will be able to carry out various tests and examine your body to determine if you are okay. He or she will also document your injuries, and this will come in handy in the event you proceed to trial.
Get In Touch with a Personal Injury Attorney
After receiving the necessary treatment, you are advised to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Ideally, you should enlist a lawyer that specializes in your specific type of injury. The attorney will advice you on the way forward, depending on the prevailing circumstances. Even if you do not plan to go to court and intend to settle for an insurance claim, you stand a better chance to succeed by hiring an experienced attorney.
Collect Important Data
After enlisting an attorney, they will strive to collect as much data about your injuries as they can. This crucial data might include info obtained from your financial statements, medical records, work progress and other documents related to your injuries or accident. With this in mind, it is important to collaborate with your attorney in this endeavor to establish the extent of a potential lawsuit.
Negotiate With the Other Party
Your attorney will be able to calculate the total claim amount you deserve based on the data obtained in the previous step. They will then draft a demand package and dispatch it to the opposing party for discussions. The negotiations may take anywhere from a day to several months.
File a Lawsuit
If out-of-court talks fail, you may have no other option but to file a lawsuit. With your permission, the attorney will file a lawsuit against the opposing party. This may involve a discovery process that requires all parties to share all the documents, witness statements, and evidence they intend to use in the trial. This process may take weeks (or years) depending on prevailing circumstances.
Pursue another Round of Negotiations
Either party may wish to pursue another round of negotiations instead of going to trial. This phase involves discussing settlement offers and counteroffers more critically.
Proceed to Trial
If the second round of talks fails as well, your attorney will file the necessary paperwork and proceed to trial. The attorney will outline to you all the risks, benefits, costs and possible outcomes of going to trial.
How Long Does It Take To Settle a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
The duration of a personal injury case depends on a number of factors as stated above. Your case may be settled within weeks or it might take years to find the desired outcome. Enlisting an experienced personal injury attorney can go a long way expedite the process and find a beneficial resolution.