So, you’ve just been in an accident, all the evidence supports your story, and you have the pictures and witnesses to prove it, but your case may still go on for a year or longer. Why? It should be so easy, right? Well, let’s break down the process so we can understand where the process may be getting stuck and taking more time.
Step 1: See the Doctor/Receive Treatment for Accident
Your health comes first in any event, both for your safety and for the setting the pace for the soon-to-be case. If you do not see a doctor, insurance and opposing attorneys will argue that the accident was not as significant as you once stated.
Step 2: Consult Your Personal Injury Attorney
Find an attorney you know you can trust and that will give you an honest opinion. If the attorney believes you have a case, they will either take you on themselves or they will give your information to another trustworthy attorney that will then take on your case. This section bleeds into the next step as they will ask for you to send over pictures from the accident and for your medical information.
Step 3: Attorney Investigates and Reviews Medical Bills
The attorney will want to know every detail related to you and the incident. After speaking with you, the attorney will deep dive into the information and breakdown the expenses from your medical appointments. Depending on the circumstances, this could be the first step where your case could begin to slow down. If the attorney takes on your case, they want to make sure you are well-represented.
Step 4: Attorney Starts Demand and Negotiations
Based on the investigations, the attorney will create a figure they believe the case is worth. Once that is done, the plaintiff will be notified of intentions and the attorney(s) and insurance will begin to negotiate. Most of the time, a lawsuit can be avoided, if the two parties can negotiate in a reasonable amount of time. However, the opposing side is not always understanding and willing to pay for liability, which is when next steps must be taken. Once you reach this point, much of time passed is based on plaintiff’s cooperation, which is why timing can take so long.
Step 5: Attorney Files Lawsuit
If the plaintiff is unwilling to cooperate and agree on a figure, the defendant may file a lawsuit. Once the lawsuit is sent, the case should see a trial within 1 to 2 years. But your case could still be completed before then.
Step 6: Discovery
This phase takes place shortly after the lawsuit is filed. This involves investigation of both sides. Your attorney will investigate the plaintiff’s information, asking questions, requesting documents, and taking depositions of all witnesses and relevant groups. And the plaintiff can do the same with your attorney’s information. This takes 6 months to a year.
Step 7: Mediation
The case goes back to negotiation. With all information gathered, both parties will have better insight into what the settlement should look like. And with the help of a mediator, they will give possible solutions that they deem fair. Many cases will be settled at this point as one or both of the sides will do seek to avoid a trial.
Step 8: Trial
Typically, once you get to trial, your results should come within 2 weeks. Trials can be subject to move but that will not affect the results.
If you are confused by the timing and condition of your personal injury case, use this as a template, so you can have a better understanding. Don’t let your case control you, control it yourself, by finding an attorney who can best help you in your time of need.
If you, your child, or another loved one were in a personal injury accident, call TRIPP LAW FIRM – Personal Injury Law at (727) 398-2900 in Pinellas/Pasco/Polk/Orange/Osceola/Seminole County, for an immediate, confidential case evaluation. There is NO Fee and NO Costs if we do not obtain a Recover for YOU!
At the TRIPP LAW FIRM, we have the necessary experience to protect you and your family’s legal rights and pursue the appropriate damages. Don’t hesitate to call us. We answer our phones 24/7/365. The injury law team and staff private investigators at the TRIPP LAW FIRM are ready on a moment’s notice.
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David Goguen, J.D. “Personal Injury Case Timeline.” Www.nolo.com, Nolo, 11 Feb. 2020, https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/timeline-personal-injury-lawsuit.html.