Posted: January 15, 2020
The average personal injury lawsuit takes six months to one year to settle. Cases that go to trial may take two years or more.
Factors that help determine how long it takes to settle a personal injury lawsuit include:
- The severity of the injuries
- The number of people involved
- The complexities of the accident
While all personal injury lawsuits share some similarities, the way injury impacts each individual is unique. It is important that you choose to work with a law firm that will stand by your side until your claim has been resolved – fighting for your rights the entire time.
Insurance Settlement or Legal Action?
Minor injuries – those that will not result in serious or lasting consequences – may be fully covered through insurance settlements. However, determining if your injury is minor should not be left to an insurance company. It is always a good idea to discuss your accident with an attorney before accepting a settlement offer.
Victims of serious injury typically fare better with legal action. Insurance companies may cover some of the expenses related to catastrophic injury but are unlikely to provide compensation for the full extent of damages.
With the assistance of an attorney, you can seek damages including:
- Medical expenses
- Wages lost during recovery
- Loss of future earnings
- Forced lifestyle changes
- Home modifications and adaptive technologies
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
A personal injury lawsuit seeks compensation for all current and future damages, helping ensure that victims and their families are allowed to focus on healing without fear of financial ruin.
What is the Personal Injury Process?
The first step in a personal injury claim is choosing an attorney. Your lawyer will carefully review your medical records and other specifics of your case to determine if you have cause to file suit or if an insurance settlement would make more sense.
If your case is deemed viable for litigation, your lawyer may make a demand and attempt a settlement before a lawsuit is filed. If that step is unsuccessful or inappropriate under the circumstances, your attorney will file a lawsuit.
After a lawsuit is filed, the discovery process begins. The discovery process can take six months or more and is often where these cases begin to drag on. During this phase, both sides will collect evidence, hire expert witnesses, and interview all involved parties – often more than once – to build their case for or against compensation.
Following discovery, personal injury cases head to mediation and settlement negotiations. These pre-trial proceedings are where many personal injury claims are settled, but if an agreement cannot be reached by both sides, the case will proceed to trial.
How Many Personal Injury Cases go to Trial?
A bulk majority of personal injury claims are settled before heading to trial. Only about five percent of these cases are ever heard before a jury. However, understanding that trying a case may be inevitable, the personal injury lawyers at Brown & Brown prepare every case for litigation. In this way, we are prepared for any eventuality and better able to serve the needs of our clients.
Contact Brown & Brown for a Complimentary Case Evaluation
If you have been injured in the Greater St. Louis area, Brown & Brown is here to help. Call our St. Louis office at 314-333-3333 or our Illinois office at 618-888-8888 and schedule your free case review today.