Whenever you are injured by someone else’s negligence, you want to make sure that they pay for all of your medical expenses and losses during your recovery. However, most people do not realize that personal injury cases can take sometimes as long as 2 years from the date of the accident. Here’s why it takes that long and what you can do to speed up the process.
The Steps of a Personal Injury Case
There are a lot of steps and phases to a personal injury case. Understanding everything involved in obtaining a settlement or jury award is important for planning how you will cover your expenses in the meantime. You may need to take out loans or look for alternative sources of income to cover your expenses until you are able to receive your award. Here are the steps of a personal injury case:
- Medical recovery and attorney research — The sooner you have an attorney the faster you can get your case moving forward. This part alone can take up to six months, but you can speed up the process with diligence.
- Initial accident investigation by the attorney
- Settlement negotiations will be ongoing from the time you get an attorney. Sometimes a settlement can be reached quickly.
- Preparation of lawsuit— If your attorney is not able to reach a settlement quickly, they will begin preparing the lawsuit to take them to court. Then, the lawsuit has to be filed and the defendants have to be served.
- The defense has 30 days to file a response.
- Discovery— Both sides of the case will have questions for each other, and certain medical evidence may also need to be disclosed to both parties. In short, both parties should have access to the same information.
- Hiring and investigation by expert witnesses— The defense will also be doing this and may also request their own medical examination.
- Mediation— Before your case can go to trial, you have to attend mediation. This happens when settlement negotiations are going nowhere, but you have everything ready for trial.
- Trial— If a settlement still cannot be reached, your case will go to trial, which takes about two weeks.
- Disbursement— After being awarded compensation for your injuries, it will take about 30 days to receive the funds.
If you want to speed up the process, get as much information as possible about the accident, including pictures, to pass on to your lawyer. You should also choose a lawyer very quickly and help them with any questions they have about the case.
If you have been injured, contact us today for more information or to schedule your free consultation.