If you have been injured because of someone else’s carelessness and are considering filing a lawsuit, you are probably asking yourself: “How long will my case last?”
Each case is different. However, several factors can affect the length of your case. Generally, straightforward cases can be resolved in as little as six months, while complex cases can take two or more years to resolve. At Briskman Briskman & Greenberg, we do not rush to accept the first settlement offer an insurance company makes because an insurance company’s first offer is typically inadequate to fully cover the damages you sustained. We are prepared to dig in our heels and negotiate a more fair settlement or try the case before a jury.
4 Key Factors Affecting the Length of Your Case
1. The Nature of Your Injury
It is essential to understand that you only have one opportunity to sue for your pain and suffering, medical bills, and other financial burdens you have experienced. Once a settlement is accepted, or a verdict is issued at trial, your case is over. If you settle too early and your condition worsens, and other medical bills pile up months or years down the road – from surgery, hospitalization, physical therapy and medical treatments – you will not be able to go back and sue for more money. Based on the nature and extent of your injury, an experienced attorney may advise you to wait before filing your lawsuit. While frustrating and potentially burdensome, this delay may prove critical in obtaining maximum compensation for your injuries. Filing a suit or settling your case too soon can cost you tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.
2. The Opposing Insurance Company’s Level of Cooperation
During the various stages of a lawsuit, your attorney will be interacting frequently with an insurance company, either directly or through opposing counsel. If the insurance company responds to your attorney in a timely fashion, your case will move along at a quicker pace. At times, however, insurance companies are less than fully cooperative, taking weeks, if not months, to respond to your attorney. This will delay your case. A skilled personal injury attorney will keep your case moving forward through the legal process as quickly as possible and keep you abreast of significant developments in your case.
3. Whether Your Case Can Be Resolved Without a Trial
Most personal injury lawsuits are settled and do not go to trial. Should your case go to trial, it can sometimes take months to get the trial date set in court. Trials typically take two days to two weeks, depending on the complexity of the case. On occasion, an appeals court will be asked to review the trial proceedings, adding to the length of your case.
4. The Complexity of Your Case
Simple, straightforward lawsuits can often be resolved within six months or so. An example is a car accident case in which one party admits fault, and the insurance company readily agrees to pay the other party fair compensation for their injuries but cannot agree to the amount of damages. On the other hand, complex cases can take two or more years to resolve. An example of this is a multi-car collision involving many injured parties, disputes over who was at fault, complicated insurance issues, and lengthy court battles. Most personal injury lawsuits involving medical malpractice, wrongful death, slip-and-fall (unsafe property), and defective products involve some degree of complexity and may take an extended period of time to resolve.
To schedule a free consultation about your case, call us toll free at 1-877.595.HURT (4878), or send us an e-mail and one of our Personal Injury Attorneys will respond promptly.