Many personal injury cases settle quickly out of court, but if your case goes to trial, you should prepare to be patient, as it can take months or even years to complete.
A personal injury claim is often a lengthy process, depending on the severity of your injuries and the number of parties involved. An attorney from our law firm can guide you through the legal process and prepare you for how long it may take to get a settlement or trial.
How Long Is the Personal Injury Claim Process?
In the aftermath of an accident, your first action should be to get yourself to safety, assess your injuries, and seek medical treatment. If you were hurt due to the negligence of another party, you might be entitled to compensation to cover your losses.
We urge you to consult with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after the accident to review your legal options and begin the claims process. Some personal injury claims resolve quickly, especially since insurance providers often want claims to go away quickly. However, other claims can take much longer to resolve.
What Damages Does a Personal Injury Settlement Cover?
Compensation for a personal injury can cover various losses, which your lawyer will calculate on your behalf to determine how much your claim is worth and whether a settlement offer is fair.
Damages and losses that your compensation may cover include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income and benefits
- Child care
- Home services
- Physical therapy
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Mental anguish
- Psychological trauma
- Loss of life enjoyment
The amount of compensation you receive depends on the severity and extent of your losses. Our law firm takes personal injury cases seriously, and we will work to secure a fair personal injury settlement that adequately covers your losses.
The Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Cases in California
The statute of limitations is the amount of time you have to file a personal injury lawsuit. According to Forbes, this deadline can be anywhere from one year in some states to five or six years in others. In California, the deadline is two years, per CCP § 335.1. The clock starts running on the date of the incident.
Failing to file a lawsuit by the deadline results in losing your right to file a lawsuit in pursuit of compensation. We will work to meet the statute of limitations in your case.
Can You Settle Without Filing a Lawsuit?
You can choose to settle your personal injury case at any time during the process. The liable party’s insurance provider will likely make a settlement offer, but these initial offers are typically low and may not adequately cover your losses.
We recommend reviewing settlement offers with your attorney to assess if accepting is the right choice. Your lawyer can send the insurance provider a counteroffer and enter into negotiations to hammer out a fair deal. In some cases, your lawyer may choose to file a lawsuit to aid in negotiations, but even after filing a lawsuit, we may be able to settle your case before it reaches a trial.
Once we agree on a settlement, we will prepare a final settlement contract that requires your signature to complete. We will review the contract with you, so you understand the terms. Remember that once you sign it, you cannot seek additional compensation in the future, even if you encounter additional damages or losses because of the accident.
How Long Does a Personal Injury Lawsuit Take to Get a Settlement?
Again, you can choose to settle your personal injury case at any time, even after filing a lawsuit. Your lawyer can continue to work toward a settlement with the defendant’s legal team.
However, you may not only want compensation; you may also want justice and accountability. If you have your eye on a verdict in your favor, you may want to fight until the end, regardless of how long it takes. If you choose to go to trial, it may take months or even years to reach a conclusion.
Start Working With a Personal Injury Lawyer On Your Case Today
Taking a personal injury case from consultation to final judgment can be a long process. Most personal injury cases settle out of court. Only a few see the inside of a courtroom. Should you choose to take your case to trial, an attorney from Greenberg Gross will represent you and fight to secure the compensation you deserve.
To schedule a free consultation or learn more about the personal injury claim process, contact us today.