If you have been injured in an accident caused by the negligence or intentional wrong acts of another person or party, you have a right to be compensated for the costs and losses associated with your injuries. You can receive this compensation by bringing a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible person or party.
Personal Injury Lawsuit Timeline
Bringing a personal injury lawsuit against the person or party responsible for your injuries can be extremely beneficial. You can be compensated for the damages your injury caused including compensation for hospital bills, physical therapy expenses, lost wages, and even lost earning potential.
If you have suffered personal injuries in an accident and are thinking about bringing a personal injury claim, it is important to understand the timeline:
- Accident Occurs: Immediately after an accident occurs, you should seek medical attention for your injuries. A doctor can determine the severity of your injuries and provide proper treatment. The actions taken by the doctor and your medical records can help support your personal injury claim. You will also want to contact a skilled California personal injury attorney who can help you with your claim. The sooner you secure an attorney, the sooner you can move forward with your claim.
- Investigation & Demand Letter: Once you have an attorney, the attorney will spend some time talking to you about your case and investigating the accident. The attorney will look at police reports, medical records, and other information to help support your claim. Before filing a claim, your attorney will likely write a demand letter explaining the facts of the case, the victim’s injuries, and the damages they are seeking. The parties can negotiate to come to a settlement.
- Filing the Claim & Serving the Defendant: The next step is to actually file your claim with the court. After you file, you have 30-60 days to serve the lawsuit on the defendant.
- Defendant’s Response: Once the defendant is served, they have 30 days to reply to the lawsuit. During this time, the defendant may participate in settlement negotiations with the victim–if they offer to settle, the victim can accept or reject the offer. If the victim accepts the offer, the case does not move on to trial.
- Discovery: Discovery involves the attorneys asking questions, sharing documents, and talking to witnesses, doctors, or other people involved in the case. This process can take several months as both sides seek to gather information. During this time, the victim and defendant can continue settlement negotiations.
- Trial: If a settlement cannot be reached, some cases will go to trial. At trial both parties will put on their evidence and a jury will decide if the defendant was responsible for the victim’s injuries and if the victim should therefore be compensated.
So, how long will my personal injury case take?
The answer to this question is, unfortunately: it depends! Many times the length of your case depends on the severity of your injuries. If you were involved in a minor accident, your case could be settled quickly. If you experienced very serious injuries, your attorney may want to wait sometime before filing your claim in order to make sure you have received all the treatment and care you need and that there are not subsequent injuries or losses that you deserve to be compensated for as well. If your case does not settle and you have to go to trial, it will take much longer.
Because every case is different, it is important to have an experienced personal injury attorney who can help answer questions about your specific case and give you guidance on how long your claim may take. The skilled personal injury attorneys at Walch Law understand that you are anxious to get the recovery you deserve. We can discuss your case during a free case consultation and start taking steps today to get your case moving forward. Call us at 866-465-8792 to schedule your consultation!