The timeline of a personal injury lawsuit can be difficult to determine. There are a lot of deciding factors, but generally, most clients can expect the process to last anywhere from two to three years.
While this may seem extensive, legal procedures do take time in order to build a case and get results.
Here are the steps you can anticipate after an injury:
The first thing you need to do is commence the lawsuit. Preparing and filing paperwork can take a while and then you will have to wait for the defence to appoint a lawyer and respond to your suit.
The next step involves scheduling discoveries and meetings. This can take up to a year. Note that dealing with larger insurance companies will take even longer.
This is called disclosure. During this period, both parties will be researching, gathering medical evidence and contacting any doctors or experts. You won’t want to rush this process as detail and accuracy will make or break your case. Disclosure can happen through documents or at discovery.
The final step is the trial or mediation part of the lawsuit. Don’t expect everything to be resolved at the first mediation conference or pre-trial date – sometimes judges go on vacation, doctors or experts have scheduling conflicts, etc. When you’re trying to accommodate both parties during these proceedings, things can get delayed.
How Can My Lawyer Speed Up The Process?
A personal injury lawyer should strive to have your case resolved within the 2-3 year time period. Sometimes though, circumstances are out of their control in regards to delays with the other party.
It’s important to remember that the last thing you want is a quick settlement – rushing through the case can jeopardize the value. Remain patient and trust the process.
Haste Makes Waste
Derek Wilson, a Hamilton Personal Injury Attorney advises that clients should never rush a case to settlement. Oftentimes, the full extent of your injuries is not apparent right away and your doctors need time to make an accurate prognosis.
You also don’t know what your economic future will look like. Can you return to the same line of work after you sustained these injuries? Or are you young enough to be retrained in a new field?
A lot of deciding factors go into your personal injury lawsuit and it’s impossible to push it forward without the results and documentation required for a settlement.
Don’t be afraid to talk to your lawyer and ask them to address any questions or concerns you may have. The truth never hurts; being open and forthcoming with your lawyer is always the best policy.