If you have been injured in an accident, you have probably had to deal with multiple doctor’s appointments and time missed from work and family events. You undoubtedly want to feel better and you probably want to get this chapter of your life over with. If you have to go to court because of your injuries, you want to know what the procedure is, how long it will take and when you can expect to get your money.
The length of any lawsuit can vary greatly. The timeline will depend on how quickly you and your lawyer get things done as well as the response time of the insurance company.
Things You Will Need to do Right After an Accident
There are a few things you can do to make the process of a personal injury lawsuit go more quickly. When you have an accident call the police and stay at the scene until they arrive. Exchange insurance and contact information with the other driver and make sure to get the names of any witnesses.
Save all the bills you have that are related to your accident and get a letter from your employer stating the hours you have missed. Call your insurance company as soon as possible and contact a personal injury attorney. Once you have hired an attorney there are a few steps you can expect to go through.
The Negotiations Process
After you call your insurance company, they will have 15 days to acknowledge your claim. They will then have 40 days to approve of your claim and offer you a settlement amount. If you accept their offer, they will have 30 days to pay you. Chances are, they will try to lowball you with their first offer.
At this point, your attorney will contact the insurance company and negotiate with them to get you a fair deal. The attorney and the adjuster may have to contact each other several times before reaching an agreement. An attorney will have years of experience in negotiating with insurance companies. If you cannot reach an agreement, you and your attorney will file a lawsuit.
The Lawsuit Process
Once you file a suit it may take up to 60 days for the agent for service at the insurance company to be served. They have 45 days to respond. They may give you a better offer at this time. If you choose not to accept the offer, the case will go to the “discovery stage.” This is when both sides may gather evidence and obtain public records related to the case. Your attorney will also be able to subpoena records during this process. As you can imagine, discovery can take a long time.
You may agree to use a mediator as an alternative to going to court. It may take many months to get an appointment with a mediator, but mediations themselves generally only last a couple of days.
The Trial Process
An actual trial may take as long as a year after an accident to happen.
It is very rare to actually go to court. The trial should not take longer than a couple of weeks.
From start to finish, a personal injury lawsuit can take anywhere from one to two years. For more information visit personalinjuryking.com.