HOW LONG DO PERSONAL INJURY LAWSUITS TAKE TO SETTLE OR BE TRIED?

We are frequently asked how long personal injury lawsuits take to be settled or tried. The simple answer is that…it depends. Personal injury lawsuits can be resolved very quickly (within a few months), or they can take years to be settled or tried. There are many variables that affect how long your lawsuit will take, including:

1. The willingness of the parties to settle. Either party may have a reason to settle quickly. Either party may know they have a weak case and just want to resolve it quickly. A claimant may need the money right away, or simply doesn’t want to wait to get paid. On the other hand, either party may think they have a strong case and will resist attempts to settle unless it’s only on their terms. This could mean that the case will take longer to resolve.

2. The complexity of the case. The more complex the case, the more parties there are to it, the more witnesses there are, generally the longer it will take. Generally, a lawsuit involving auto accident with 1 plaintiff and 1 defendant with no other witnesses should not take too long to be resolve or tried. However, a lawsuit with many parties and witnesses, many exhibits and potentially thousands of pages of records to be reviewed will, for the most part, take longer to resolve or be tried.

3. The diligence of the attorneys. In all industries and walks of life, there are some people who are more efficient than others. The same applies to attorneys. Some attorneys take longer to complete tasks than others. It may be a matter of staffing, having too many files to work on, not having the proper systems in place, or a simple lack of diligence.

4. The diligence of the clients. Attorneys also need the help of their clients to move cases along. Attorneys need information and documents throughout the life of a case and if the clients do not provide them with timely information and documentation, it can delay the case.

5. Court involvement. Attorneys and clients are at the mercy of the court and the court’s schedule, as lawsuits generally move forward in stages with deadlines set by either statute or the judge. Some judges have busier caseloads than others. Sometimes deadlines to complete certain tasks are set out for months. This will effect how quickly your case moves along.

6. Medical treatment. During a lawsuit, a claimant will need to provide the other side with his or her medical records, and the other side will generally want to take the deposition(s) of the claimant’s treating physicians. The process to obtain these records takes time, and sometimes the doctors are not available for deposition for months. This can obviously delay your case.

The attorneys at Mag Mile Law do whatever they can to move cases along. For more information about our personal injury practice, or for a free consultation, contact us at [email protected]. Our personal injury lawyers are former defense attorneys, and now they are on YOUR side!

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