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How Long Does a Personal Injury Lawsuit Last?

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Personal injury lawsuits can be a rigorous process that takes years to complete, but that is not always the case. Every case is unique, so each of them is treated differently and can require alternate lengths of time. Personal injury lawsuits require investigations, testimonies, and many other elements that play a part in how the judge and jury make a decision. According to Agruss Law Firm, here are factors that can impact how long your lawsuit may last: 

Complexity of case

How complex your case is will greatly influence how long your lawsuit will last. A case that has many forms of evidence will require a longer investigation to review each piece of information. Additionally, if the evidence is weak, this can complicate a case because the opposing party may form a rebuttal and argue that the evidence should be thrown out. An extensive investigation will be necessary for a case that has multiple parties with different levels of liability, depending on who is at fault. 

Severity of damages

The severity of your damages also is important in defining the length of time your case may take. If your damages aren’t very severe and require a small lump sum to compensate you financially, your lawsuit may only be a couple of months.

For a more devastating case that has hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages, you can anticipate a case that goes on for two or more years. This is also because the other party may settle quickly for a smaller sum to prevent a long legal battle. But for damages in the millions, your case can extend even longer as the other party may try to appeal to the court to settle for less. That’s why you need to learn how personal injury law works.

Prognosis of injuries

How badly you were injured also plays a part. If you were so severely injured that it deeply transformed your way of life, preventing you from living to your highest and best potential, the lawsuit may require more time.

The court has to address each aspect of how your damages were inflicted on you, and the more results caused by your injuries, the more there is to discuss. A plaintiff who had a twisted ankle will have a shorter lawsuit than a plaintiff with brain damage due to a personal injury. 

Your jurisdiction’s schedule

Your court may be incredibly busy because of their caseload and may schedule your court date further out. You may have to wait a long time to receive a trial, and the court date can be changed at any time to accommodate changes in previous cases. 

The other party may delay the settlement 

The defendant may hinder the case’s progress by providing counter-evidence and other rebuttals. When they refuse to settle, the court can still enforce a judgement. However, the defendant may find ways to delay; for example, they may use an extended discovery, motion to change forum, start filing appeals, file for a motion to reconsider, file motions to dismiss a complaint, avoid the service of process, and file for motions to extend deadlines. 

Reasons why the law suit takes so long

After you initiate your claim, the longest portion of a lawsuit is the discovery process which can take six months to a year. This is because the court is required to undertake these activities: 

  • Discovery process. The court must begin finding facts, which includes the recovery of police reports,  necessary documents, medical records, subpoenas, depositions and witness statements, and more.  In addition to these tasks are investigating disputes, accident reconstruction, and other research.
  • Document exchange. Next, the court will undergo the process of exchanging documents. Each party receives all of the information regarding the personal injury circumstances.
  • Maximum medical improvement (MMI). Your attorney will have to reach out to your physician to retrieve a medical expert prognosis to determine how severely you’ve been injured. 

I want to file a lawsuit. what’s next? 

There may be an attempt at a settlement before you file a lawsuit. If you settle, you can receive compensation in as little as a few months. If you file a lawsuit, this can add one to two years to your case. Speak with a reliable attorney now to find out the best approach for you.

Ellen Diamond did her degree in psychology at the Hertfordshire. She is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.

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