When filing a personal injury lawsuit in Birmingham, one of the most common questions that often arises is “how long does a personal injury lawsuit take?” This question is not one that can be answered all at once, as various factors could affect the duration of a lawsuit.
Personal Injury Lawsuits: Step by Step
Before the lawsuit even begins, the injured party should seek out medical treatment for their injuries immediately. Doing so ensures that correct medical attention is timely and prevents further injury – but it also ensures plenty of supporting documentation for a case. A detailed account of treatment sought out, as well as the cost of such treatment, is one of the most vital pieces of evidence one could have in a personal injury lawsuit.
Once the medical attention has been sought out, the injured party will then seek out a lawyer to help with the case. In turn, the lawyer will decide what action should be taken regarding the case. The lawyer will interview the injured person regarding the injury, how it occurred, their background and more. This line of questioning may seem intrusive, but it leaves little room for surprises that could affect the case later on.
After all these steps, the lawyer begins making demands and negotiating with the offending party’s insurance company. If the case can settle out of court, as many personal injury claims do, the process is not too long. If settlement negotiations cannot be reached, the lawsuit is then filed.
In preparation for the trial itself, a number of steps must be completed – this is known as “pre-trial”. First, begins the discovery process. This is when both the plaintiff’s and defendant’s lawyer request documents regarding the case from each other. This process could last anywhere from a few months to a full year, depending, of course, on details in the case.
They then move on to meditation and settlement negotiation. In most cases, the lawyers can reach a settlement simply by discussing their sides of the case. If this does not work, the plaintiff, the defendant, and their lawyers report to mediation in an attempt to settle the case with an unbiased party. At last, if even mediation fails, the case is scheduled to go to trial. The trial itself could last anywhere from a day to a few weeks. It should also be noted that just because a case is scheduled, it does not mean it cannot be canceled and re-scheduled. This happens often.
But while this extended amount of time may seem discouraging, it is important to know that filing a claim as quickly as possible is the key. This is why statute of limitations for personal injury can seem high, but in reality, are short in the scheme of how long a case can run.
Don’t wait. If you or a loved one has been injured due to someone else’s negligence, contact the law office of Salter Ferguson today to schedule your case consultation. You could be eligible for compensation for your injuries, lost wages and time at work, and more.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney/client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.