Each year, approximately 40 million people suffering from accident injuries seek medical care in emergency rooms throughout the United States. Those suffering from severe injuries due to another person’s negligence may find themselves struggling to pay medical expenses and other costs if their injuries prevent them from returning to work.

In addition to the financial strain, injury victims may suffer mentally and personally. While a settlement doesn’t eliminate that harm, it compensates personal injury victims for how their injuries have impacted their lives.

Suppose you’ve been injured in an accident. In that case, you may wonder how long a personal injury lawsuit takes and how a personal injury lawyer can help. Let’s look at how long it takes to resolve injury claims, factors affecting settlement timelines, and how your case benefits when you hire an experienced personal injury lawyer.

Contact Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys To Discuss Your Personal Injury Case Today.


How Long Does a Personal Injury Lawsuit Take?

A personal injury lawsuit may take anywhere from one month to three years. If you’re able to resolve your claim without formal proceedings quickly, you may have a check in your hands in as little as a month. On the other hand, if you have a complicated case that proceeds to trial, your case may take up to three years. The complexity of your case and the circumstances of the parties determine how long your personal injury lawsuit might take. Most cases take between six months and one year.

Personal Injury Claim Average Timeline

Your personal injury claim timeline includes the following steps:

  • Seeking diagnosis and treatment
  • Securing legal representation
  • Investigating
  • Filing claims paperwork
  • Responding to motions
  • Issuing discovery motions
  • Attending settlement negotiations

You must seek medical attention from professionals qualified to evaluate and diagnose your condition. You must seek appropriate treatment for your accident injuries. Your medical diagnosis is a crucial part of your personal injury claim, and your case may fall apart if you cannot establish the accident that caused your injuries. 

If you resolve your case through negotiations, the insurance company will initiate payment within a few months. However, if you do not reach an agreement, you will have to take the following steps:

  • Go to trial
  • Wait for the verdict
  • Fight appeals

Your personal injury claim payout timeline also depends on the compensation structure. Some claimants receive a single lump sum payment, while others receive multiple payments over a set period.


Factors That Impact the Timeline of Your Claim

Several factors come into play when it comes to whether your case will resolve quickly or take a long time. Even though each case is unique, some elements indicate whether a case will be more like one month or more like three years. Here are some of the critical factors for determining how long your personal injury lawsuit might take:

The Severity of Your Injuries

When injuries are minor, a case is more likely to resolve quickly. The party responsible may have insurance that covers the payment, or the parties may be more agreeable to settling the case. If damages are extensive, it may take longer to reach a resolution.

When there are severe injuries, there may be more debate about what a resolution should be. It may take you longer to gather all the evidence about the losses you’ve sustained. However, it’s essential you take the time to carefully build a complete claim for the recovery you deserve. A case with substantial damages typically takes longer to resolve.

How Long It Takes for You To Recover

You may be unable to assist your attorney or even hire an attorney if you’re incapacitated because of your injuries. For example, in cases where a victim is in a coma, the filing deadline may be tolled, allowing the victim to take legal action after they regain consciousness.

Ideally, you should wait until you reach maximum medical improvement before settling your claim. The maximum medical improvement is when you have healed as much as possible. 

While some victims make a full recovery, others may live with permanent impairments from their injuries, and understanding your condition and how it will impact the rest of your life is crucial when calculating damages. 

How Many Parties Were Involved in the Incident

If the incident involves multiple parties, determining liability may become more complex. Comparative negligence might be an important question in the case. When multiple parties are involved, a case may take longer because of factual disputes and the time it takes for each party to build their case.

Who Was at Fault for Your Injuries

Some injury cases are complex because there are factors affecting liability. Suppose you’re in an accident with someone driving a company vehicle. The company may be liable for your injuries if there’s evidence they failed to maintain the vehicle and that failure caused the accident. 

Whether the Fault Is Obvious

When who’s to blame for a personal injury is obvious, the case resolves much faster. When it’s clear who’s responsible for the victim’s injuries, it often becomes a matter of what the responsible party should pay. The parties can save time litigating who’s accountable and focus on what the resolution should be.

The insurance company may not object to making a fast payout when the fault is clear. You may be able to avoid having to file a formal claim if the other side agrees they’re legally liable for the personal injury. Obvious fault can make a personal injury lawsuit resolve quickly.

Whether the Responsible Party Has Insurance

If there’s insurance to cover the responsible party’s financial liability, they’re much more likely to agree to pay. The existence of an insurance contract can help the victim get what they deserve. If the responsible party has sufficient insurance to pay a claim, it can speed the recovery process and ensure that the victim collects a fair payment for their injuries.

Whether You Need an Expert Witness for a Trial

There are many reasons to use an expert witness at trial. You may need an expert to explain the medical implications of your injuries. You might rely on an expert to explain to the jury how the crash occurred. If experts are needed for your case, they can make a big difference in getting the compensation you deserve. However, finding the right experts and bringing them up to speed can take time.

The other side has some time to get information about the experts before the trial. If the other side has experts, you also have the opportunity to learn about what they plan to say. An expert witness can make a case take longer, but they may be critical to ensuring you get fair compensation.

Whether There Are Complex Legal Issues

Unresolved legal questions can make a case take longer to resolve. For example, if there are legal questions about the presentation of evidence or about how Florida law applies to the case, the parties may ask the court to rule on those issues before the case goes to trial.

The Insurance Company’s Willingness To Work With You

Some insurance companies negotiate with the intention of resolving the claim. However, some insurance companies refuse to negotiate or offer fair compensation. If the insurance company is unwilling to negotiate, your case will go to court. 

Settling the Claim Versus Going To Court

It takes longer to resolve cases that go to court. Settling expedites the process of determining your case and receiving compensation.


Personal Injury Claims Versus Personal Injury Lawsuits

A claim is a formal process used to seek compensation. Injury victims file the claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company. The victim and the defendant’s insurance company negotiate to resolve the case without going to court.

If the insurance company refuses to negotiate or offer reasonable compensation, the victim can file a lawsuit for damages. After filing, there will be further attempts to negotiate a settlement. If the parties can’t agree on a settlement, the case will go to trial. Only a small fraction of personal injury cases go to trial, with 95% of cases settling out of court.

When Should I Take the Claim to Court Rather Than Settling?

Going to court is an option that should be carefully considered. Fighting your case in court can be time-consuming. Even if you receive a favorable verdict after going to trial, the defendant can file an appeal. It can take years for the initial trial, and an appeal could add several months or more than a year to the time needed to resolve your case and receive a judgment.

You can go to trial if the insurance company refuses to negotiate a settlement or offer sufficient compensation. Talking to your attorney is the best way to determine how to proceed if you feel the insurance company isn’t offering reasonable compensation. 

How a Lawyer Can Help You With Your Personal Injury Claim

A lawyer can help you by taking multiple steps to justify your claim. Since most people are unfamiliar with court procedures and case precedents, having a legal expert ensures victims protect their rights. 

Your Lawyer Will Gather Evidence

Your lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation, ensuring they have all relevant evidence to determine who is liable for your accident. They will identify and depose witnesses and may have an expert witness testify. Courts, defendants, and plaintiffs can call expert witnesses to support claims in personal injury cases. 

Your attorney will ensure all evidence is secured and documented for your trial. 

Your Lawyer Will Establish Negligence

You must prove the at-fault party’s negligence to justify a personal injury claim. You must demonstrate that the at-fault party was responsible for taking appropriate actions to avoid harming others, known as their duty of care, to prove negligence. You must also show that they failed to take those actions, which means they breached their duty and that this failure caused your accident and injuries. 

To have a viable case, you must also show that your injuries have caused financial and personal harm that justifies your claim for damages.

Your Lawyer Will Help Calculate Damages

The reason for filing an injury lawsuit is to seek compensation from the person responsible for your accident. You can seek reimbursement for costs incurred by the accident and compensation for personal suffering. 

Your attorney can help calculate these damages. Factors affecting the total damages to seek include the following:

  • Economic damages
    • Burial costs
    • Childcare costs
    • Funeral expenses
    • Job retraining costs
    • Lost wages
    • Medical expenses 
    • Property damage bills
  • Non-Economic damages
    • Anxiety
    • Depression
    • Disfigurement or scarring
    • Loss of intimacy/life partner
    • Pain and suffering
    • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
    • Reduced quality of life

Your attorney will also review the evidence to determine whether you can seek punitive damages. Since these damages are limited to claims involving gross negligence, you must have legal grounds to pursue them. Your attorney will explain those grounds, evaluate the evidence, and include them in your filing if appropriate.

Your Lawyer Will File Legal Paperwork and Respond to Motions

Your lawyer will look after filing your claim, filing a lawsuit, issuing and responding to discovery motions, and handling any other petitions received during the discovery period. 

Your Lawyer Will Ensure You File on Time

You have 24 months to file a personal injury lawsuit. Your deadline countdown begins on the accident date or the date you discovered your injury. Filing before the statute of limitations expires ensures the defendant can’t use the statute to argue for your case to be dismissed.

Your Lawyer Will Negotiate

Your attorney will attend and lead settlement negotiations and attempt to secure a fair settlement without taking your case to trial. Negotiations occur after your claim is filed. Suppose those negotiations fail, and you have to file a lawsuit. In that case, there will be further negotiation attempts before the case goes to trial. Your attorney will use their experience and knowledge of case law during negotiations and explain your options if the insurance company makes a settlement offer. 

Your Lawyer Will Represent You in Court

If you do not settle your case, your lawyer will present evidence, call witnesses, question defense witnesses, and present legal arguments in court.


If You Have Been Injured in an Accident, Let Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys, Fight for You

At Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys, we’re committed to helping you resolve the case in the best ways possible. One of the considerations is resolving your case quickly. We know that you need the compensation you deserve as fast as possible. Our Tampa legal team can help you balance all the critical factors to help you receive justice in your case. Contact our experienced Florida personal injury attorneys today to speak to a member of our team.

Call Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys For a Free Consultation and Find Out How We Can Help With Your Personal Injury Case.

Sources:

Emergency Department Visits. (2024). 

Johnson, J. (2022). Personal Injury Settlement Amounts Examples (2024 Guide)Law 101: Legal Guide for the Forensic Expert: Reasons to Appoint an Expert Witness. (2023).

Tampa Car Accident + Personal Injury Lawyers

Jack Bernstein Personal Injury Attorney

For more than 40 years, personal injury lawyer Jack G. Bernstein has protected the rights of individuals who have been injured in a variety of circumstances. Throughout his career, Bernstein has been a strategist thoroughly dedicated to the idea of protecting the rights of his clients. Mr. Bernstein is a member of the Florida State Bar Association, the Hillsborough Bar Association and the Clearwater Bar Association.

Mr. Bernstein has the experience and expertise to handle a wide range of injury cases. Among the types of plaintiffs Mr. Bernstein represents are individuals involved in car accidents caused by drunk drivers or other exhibiting negligence, medical complications resulting from carelessness caused by a physician or a medical facility, including brain injury, bicycle, motorcycle, moped and truck accidents, admiralty law and cruise ship accidents, accidental drownings, all types of wrongful death lawsuits, along with most injury, catastrophic occurrences and legal malpractice issues.

Our firm handles every type of personal injury and accident case, using negotiation and litigation tactics effectively. We handle cases throughout Tampa, Sarasota, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater, FL. With a staff of approximately 40 people, including six lawyers and 34 support personnel, we have the legal resources to get the justice you deserve and the maximum recovery for your losses. Schedule your free consultation today; we are always here to help.

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