If you’ve been injured because of someone else’s carelessness and are considering filing a lawsuit, you’re probably asking yourself: “How long will my case last?”
Each case is unique. However, several factors can have a marked affect on the length of your case. In general, 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 don’t rush to accept the first settlement offer an insurance company makes because it’s often mediocre. We’re prepared to dig in our heels and negotiate a more just settlement or try the case before a jury. It is critical, therefore, to be patient throughout the whole process to give you the best chance for success.
4 Key Factors Affecting the Length of Your Case
1. The Nature of Your Injury
It’s important to understand that you only have one opportunity to sue for your pain and suffering, medical bills, and other financial burdens you have encountered. Once a settlement is accepted or a verdict is issued at trial, your case is over. In our legal system, you only get one bite at the apple. If you settle too early and your condition worsens, and other medical bills pile up months and 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 initiating your lawsuit. This delay, while undoubtedly frustrating and potentially burdensome, may prove critical in obtaining maximum compensation for your injuries. Filing 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 sometime take months to get the trial date set in court. Trials then take two days to two weeks typically. 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 in a matter of 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 his or her injuries. On the other hand, complex cases can take two or more years to resolve. An example 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.