The timeline for your personal injury case is unique and will vary greatly from others. Insurance and personal injury laws in your state may play a role in determining the amount of time it takes to file and finalize your lawsuit. The steps a local law firm takes to resolve your lawsuit may include:
- Investigating the cause and cost of your injuries
- Thoroughly documenting and preparing your lawsuit
- Filing your lawsuit before time runs out
- Negotiating a favorable financial settlement
You also play a role in defining the timeline of your potential lawsuit because you, not your lawyer, will make the final decision to accept a settlement offer. This is a process in its own right because it may involve receiving and weighing many offers before accepting one. A lawyer in your area might be able to explain your specific personal injury case timeline and clarify when you might expect a final payment.
Investigate the Cause of Your Injuries
According to the American Bar Association (ABA), you might have the basis of a personal injury lawsuit if your injuries were the result of negligence, recklessness, or carelessness. Examples may include:
- Car accidents
- Physical assaults
- Dog bites
- Slip and falls
- Product defects
Before your lawyer starts assigning a value to your injuries and developing a compensation plan and timeline, your lawyer must prove the cause of your injury and identify the at-fault party. Your lawyer may then request:
- Accident or incident reports
- Witness statements and contact details
- Photos and videos of the accident scene
- Your written recollection of your injuries
The cause of your injuries might demand a variety of documents. Your legal team may explain the information they need and help you obtain it even if your injuries prevent you from fully participating in the investigation of your accident.
Document the Cost of Your Injuries
Depending on the cause of your injuries and their severity, the medical care you receive might be costly and extensive. According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 35 million emergency room visits every year can be attributed to accidental injuries. While the types and amounts of your recoverable damages are unique to you, they may include:
- Current and future injury-related medical bills
- Current and future loss of income
- Lasting physical impairment
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental and emotional stress
- Damaged or destroyed property
The time it takes to assign a financial value to your lawsuit may have an impact on your overall timeline because a lawyer may advise against accepting the first settlement offer you receive. In fact, your lawyer might advise you not to speak to the at-fault party or their legal or insurance representative without first speaking to your own.
Prepare and File Your Lawsuit on Time
Every state in the U.S. has its own filing deadlines in civil lawsuits, called the statute of limitations. The filing deadline must be complied with because failing to do so might mean you cannot file your lawsuit at all. Defining the statute of limitations in your state might be complicated because it might depend on:
- The date you were injured in a personal injury lawsuit
- The date you became aware of your injuries
- The date of demise in a wrongful death lawsuit
A personal injury lawyer in your area who is familiar with state law, insurance law, and personal injury law will be able to help you define and comply with the relevant statute of limitations.
Negotiate a Monetary Settlement
Your personal injury lawsuit might be resolved without a lengthy court case if you and the at-fault party are able to agree on a financial settlement. Representatives for you and for the at-fault party may compile and organize evidence, contact and interview witnesses, and present a monetary value for your injuries.
Once you agree to accept a settlement, you will sign a waiver agreeing not to seek additional compensation. Your lawyer might explain how much time the state allots before the at-fault party’s insurance company must make a payout on an agreed-upon settlement.
Let Us Help Clarify Your Personal Injury Case Timeline
Getting the compensation that you are entitled to collect does not have to be a lengthy or frustrating process. While you focus on restoring your health, we focus on recovering your financial damages.
Our goal is to provide excellent representation and optimal client recovery. Call the client intake team at Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC by calling (828) 286-3866 for a free, no-obligation consultation.