How Long Will My Personal Injury Lawsuit Take?
Sustaining unanticipated injuries is enough to threaten the average person’s financial security. Even those who have adequate health insurance can expect to incur a lot more than medical bills over the course of their recovery. From lost wages to replacement services, the associated costs can add up fast.
As such, most accident victims are highly motivated to settle or sue. In fact, one of the most common questions that personal injury attorneys receive is, “How long will it take to secure a payout?”
Unfortunately, there’s no simple answer to this question. Since every accident scenario is unique, so too is every case. Also, no attorney can guarantee a specific outcome for your case.
That doesn’t mean, however, that a knowledgeable lawyer can’t evaluate the circumstances to determine what kinds of factors will most likely influence the total duration of the proceedings. While a reputable professional won’t ever promise to achieve a certain outcome by a specific date, he or she could at least give you some idea of what to expect along the way.
Let’s take a look at some of the most influential factors that can affect the timeline of a personal injury case:
1. The Complexity of the Case
The circumstances surrounding the incident in which you were hurt will affect the scope of the investigation. This, in turn, will influence the duration of your case from start to finish. Proving liability for a drunk driving wreck, for example, is generally more straightforward than demonstrating medical malpractice.
2. The Severity of Your Injuries
There’s no way to be sure of the total extent of your damages until you’re well on your way to recovering. As such, it’s unadvisable to conclude the proceedings before reaching maximum medical improvement. For those with catastrophic injuries, that may mean waiting several months—or longer—to resolve everything.
3. The Insurer’s Willingness to Cooperate
If the insurer accepts their policyholder’s liability and is willing to offer a fair settlement, your case may be resolved fairly quickly during the negotiations. Should they prove uncooperative, on the other hand, you may have no choice but to proceed to litigation.
Filing a formal lawsuit could extend the timeline considerably. Discovery alone may take six months to a year. And if the insurer still refuses to settle after reviewing all the evidence against the liable party, you may have to proceed to ADR and possibly to trial.
Depending on the jurisdiction’s caseload, it could be months before you receive a court date. You will then have to wait even longer for a verdict. If it happens to be in your favor, your legal team will try to secure prompt collection; however, it could still be some time before you see a single dollar if the defendant appeals the ruling.
Discuss Your Claim with a Personal Injury Attorney in West Palm Beach
If you were seriously hurt at the hands of another, contact Donaldson & Weston to determine how best to proceed. We will conduct a thorough investigation into the incident and gather the evidence needed to prove liability and damages against all responsible parties.
Our legal team has recovered more than $100 million for our clients in successful settlements and verdicts. Call 561-299-3999 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer in West Palm Beach.