How Long Does a Typical Personal Injury Claim Take? Learn All About These 6 Stages of the Legal Process
Personal injury, by definition, encompasses a wide range of cases. It can mean anything from a simple car accident case to a detailed and complex defective product accident. This means that there is no specific timeframe for an average personal injury lawsuit.
Still, regardless of the type of case you may find yourself in, there are 6 main stages in the legal process that can help guide you on the path to the final resolution of your case. Here are the main steps that you will likely see in your personal injury claim.
6 Legal Process Stages in a Personal Injury Lawsuit
- Client and attorney consultation. Stage one begins when you consult with your attorney about your case and he or she agrees that there is negligence involved on the part of the other party, that there is a defendant that compensation can be sought from, and that you were injured.
During this time, your attorney will discuss your options with you and the costs and terms involved in retaining them. This first consultation is usually at no cost to you.
- Investigation begins. Once you retain your attorney, they will begin investigating your claim. This means that they will obtain police reports and any documentation of the accident, begin interviewing witnesses, and start collecting your medical bills and reports.
The investigation can get thorough, depending on the circumstances of your situation. When you have retained personal injury experts, like those at Hupy and Abraham’s Green Bay, you can enjoy the confidence that comes with knowing that a capable attorney is looking out for your best interests.
- The demand package is sent. After the investigation is complete and your medical providers have released you from care, your attorney will create a demand package. This includes a letter about your case, facts related to the liability and damages incurred, and details regarding your pain and suffering, lost wages, and more. This demand package is reviewed by the other party and they will have a certain amount of time to respond.
- If a settlement is not negotiated, a personal injury lawsuit is then filed. If the demand package is not agreed with, and both parties can’t agree on terms for a settlement, then your attorney will likely file a lawsuit with your approval.
- Discovery and mediation occur. Once the lawsuit is filed, both sides will obtain evidence from each other. Your attorney will most likely conduct depositions of witnesses and may hire experts to help validate your case. Before it goes to trial, however, a mediator will attempt to work with both parties to reach an agreement that is acceptable to all involved.
- The case goes to trial. If your case can’t be resolved through negotiations, it will go to trial. At this point, a jury or other decision-maker will listen to both sides of the case presented, decide who is at fault, and award damages.
Your Personal Injury Case is Unique
While these are the basic stages of a personal injury claim, yours is unique to you and some stages may take longer than others to finish. Working with a knowledgeable attorney will help you understand the process and trust that your case is being handled by someone who knows what they are doing and wants you to win.