If you’ve been hurt and are considering filing a personal injury lawsuit, you may be wondering what to expect when it comes to steps and timelines. First, it’s important to note that every case is different. Depending on the injury you or a loved one experienced, your case may involve more steps. Regardless, the vast majority of personal injury cases follow a similar step-by-step process.
In this blog, we’ll go over the general personal injury lawsuit timeline you can expect if you choose to file a case. To help you get a better idea of the full process, we’ll provide an overview of each stage, along with a quick summary.
Step 1: Medical treatment and recovery
If you’ve been injured, the first thing you’ll want to do is seek medical treatment. Not only is it important for your health and wellbeing, seeking treatment can have an impact on your personal injury lawsuit timeline as well. For example, if you choose to delay treatment, an insurance claims adjuster may try to argue that your injuries aren’t as severe as you claim, making it harder for you to get appropriate compensation.
Step 2: Choosing your personal injury lawyer
The next step in your personal injury lawsuit timeline is finding the right lawyer to represent you and your case. This may take some time, as you’ll want to research lawyers in your area and seek recommendations.
Step 3: Investigation and negotiation
Once you’ve chosen the right lawyer for you, they’ll gather evidence supporting your claim. They will also ask for your medical records, which they’ll review with a medical professional.
At this point, your lawyer will try to negotiate and reach a settlement with the at-fault party and their insurance carrier. Most personal injury cases end in settlement.
Step 4: Filing a personal injury lawsuit
If you and your lawyer are unable to reach a fair settlement with the at-fault party, it’s time to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Keep in mind – under most state laws, personal injury lawsuits must be filed within 2-4 years of the date your injury occurred. Check with your state to make sure you can still file if it’s been a few years since your accident.
Step 5: Discovery
Once you’ve decided to pursue legal action, your attorney will restart the discovery process, which could take over six months. During this time, each party must respond to requests for written discovery, depositions, and potentially subpoenas for information, and procurement of expert witnesses.
Step 6: Negotiation & mediation
After the discovery period has ended, each party’s lawyers will begin negotiations in hopes of reaching a fair settlement before trial. In many cases, this is where a satisfactory settlement will be reached.
Step 7: Trial
If a settlement is unable to be reached again, your personal injury case will go to trial in front of a judge and/or jury. The timeline here can be anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, depending on when you can get your court date scheduled, and how long the actual trial lasts.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve suffered an injury and are looking for a personal injury lawyer in Delray Beach, contact our South Florida attorney’s office to speak with Peter Porcaro, our head attorney.
Porcaro Law is committed to helping you get the treatment and compensation you deserve. If you’re currently searching for personal injury attorneys in South Florida, contact us now to receive a free consultation. With Porcaro Law by your side, you will feel confident knowing that your rights are protected and the responsible parties are held liable for their actions.
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