Usually, a personal injury lawsuit process lasts several months. However, the timeline for your case will depend on the nature of your case, and it could go on for up to two years or even longer. The factors that influence the length of a case include the type of injuries suffered by the victim, recovery time, and how cooperative the insurance company is. A personal injury lawyer can offer valuable guidance at every stage of a court case, helping you find the justice you seek.
Factors Affecting Your Lawsuit’s Timeline
When you sustain injuries as the result of an accident, you are faced with the need to settle the case as soon as possible, a fact your injury lawyer understands perfectly. However, the amount of time taken to resolve your case and get compensation could depend on:
- The type of injuries you sustained from the accident
- How severe the injuries you sustained are
- How long your recovery is likely to take
- How cooperative is the insurance company responsible for your compensation
- Whether or not the liability of the cause of your accident is disputed
- If you suffered a permanent disability or impairment
- How long the investigation process and finding evidence will take
The Process Of Filing A Lawsuit
A personal injury lawsuit is a process that follows a series of steps before the plaintiff receives compensation or a settlement offer. Based on the competence of your lawyer and the factors stated above, it could last for anywhere from eight months to two years (or more) from when you file the lawsuit to when you will get your rightful compensation.
If you need any help filing a lawsuit, the Texas personal injury attorneys at The Cain Firm are ready to help. They can ensure that all documents are filled out correctly and filed on time. Furthermore, your legal team will offer valuable guidance throughout the process.
Before filing any lawsuit, the personal injury lawyer will first attempt to hold negotiations with the defendant and their insurance company. When your lawyer sends out the settlement demand, they usually give the insurance company a maximum of 30 days to pay out the compensation. If the company still does nothing, the lawyer proceeds to the next step.
Filing The Lawsuit
The lawyer will file a lawsuit on your behalf when you decide to proceed with this course of action. However, there are exceptions for medical cases since they require expert affidavits, making the process longer than other cases.
Issuing And Servicing Summons To The Defendant
After your personal injury lawyer files a lawsuit, the court clerk will summon the defendant to notify them about the lawsuit. This step takes a maximum of two weeks. The summon is also forwarded to the county sheriff to serve the defendant. The summon has to be sent directly to the defendant in their home, or the registered agent if the defendant is a company.
Answering The Summon
The defendant is usually given 30 days from the day they get served to file an official answer. They can either accept or deny the allegations made against them, and once they have done that, you will proceed to the next step.
This is the section where parties can ask for the opponent’s information and request for the production of specific documents such as photos, medical records, or physical objects needed for conducting a proper investigation. One party may also request the other to admit to certain facts to narrow down the issues. This process usually takes 30 to 90 days.
Party, Expert, And Non-Expert Depositions
The parties in the lawsuit (the plaintiff and the defendant) give their out-of-court testimonies. If the case is complex and involves multiple parties, the party deposition process may occur over several days spread out weeks apart. Non-expert depositions are also taken from any witnesses who were present.
Medical providers can provide expert depositions, and they are used to prove that the plaintiff’s injuries were caused by their accident. Other experts could include engineering, accident reconstruction, and biomechanical experts. Party and non-expert depositions can take a few months, but expert depositions take longer depending on your specific case.
After all the other steps have been completed, your case is added to the queue behind preceding cases. The judge calls a case management conference with the lawyers of both parties to discuss the case’s details, and then the judge sets a date for your trial.
Victims seeking justice must arm themselves with patience. Legal procedures can be quite complex and take up a lot of time. A personal injury lawyer can protect your rights and will always represent your best interest.