If you have been injured in an accident, you probably want to file a personal injury claim so you can receive some compensation for your injuries as quickly as possible. Before you file a claim though you should know how long you have to wait until your case is going to be resolved. Here are a few factors that can determine the time frame for filing a claim.
Why do Some Cases Take Longer?
If the liability is not being disputed, it should be a fairly simple case. In a lot of cases, it can actually resolve in a matter of a few months without any lawsuit being filed. If there are some things that are being disputed, it could take a long time to resolve, even years. If you are going to have a long case, you may want to consider taking less than what you originally asked for in hopes of settling quicker.
The Impact of Injuries
After the accident happens, you may not even realize that you are injured until later on when things have calmed down. Doctors will often not offer an opinion on your diagnoses until a few days have past and you are stable. It can even take as long as one year before the doctors will know the extent of your injuries and how it is affecting you. So before you file your personal injury claim, you want to be sure that you have a case first and that all your information is fact not based on what others say.
Once you have a total amount of compensation you will be asking for, and you are sure that you have factored in medical bills, property repair, rehabilitation, it will then be time to contact your lawyer and he or she will write a demand letter on your behalf to the individual who is responsible or the insurance company they are insured by. Sometimes a settlement is offered and there is no need to go any further. However, if you don’t take the offer, your next step, and your lawyer will tell you, is to get ready to file a lawsuit.
It’s difficult to reach an agreement with both sides on the compensation amount that should be awarded. You will be able to file a lawsuit that talks about your allegations and how the defendant plays a role in everything. Then you can list your injuries.
After you file a lawsuit, your lawyer will talk to the Defendants lawyer and they will switch documents back and forth and go over all the details including medical reports and bills. They will also explore any witness reports that are associated with your account.
Before the trial, either lawyer can file a motion that objects to the evidence or ask that the case be thrown out if the evidence you have is simply not enough to prove anything. You also need to consider that the courts calendar stays full and that makes it difficult to get a good trial date quickly.
Mediation and Settlement Conferences
From the time that you file a personal injury claim until the time that you go to court, you will be invited to a few settlement conferences, meditation and arbitration. During the mediation part, you will sit down with a professional mediator and try to reach an agreement that will satisfy everyone. In arbitration, the arbitrator will listen to both sides and then give their final answer.
If your case goes to trial, the jury or the judge will be the one that determines the outcome. Trials are capable of lasting only a few days but can last longer if needed. Once a verdict is reached, you have the right to appeal the motion. However, you are starting back to the beginning as you wait on an available date to go to court.