How Quickly Will My Car Accident Case Be Resolved?
It is very common for car accident victims to wonder how long a personal injury case will take. Most of the time, they want to know how soon they will be able to receive compensation for their injuries and damaged property. These are fair questions, especially in light of the fact that much of a settlement or award you could ultimately receive is intended to pay for an injury that has already been sustained. Accident victims have already accrued enough costs and, when compensation is due, should be paid as quickly as possible.
While you deserve to be compensated and get closure as soon as possible, you should never allow your claim to settle for an amount that fails to meet your needs. If there is an issue that could affect your claim, it is your attorney’s responsibility to present supporting evidence or to make substantiated arguments in court.Typical Timeline of a Personal Injury Case
Most auto accident cases follow a similar pattern beginning with the immediate aftermath of the crash:
- Medical Care – This is a critical step because recovery is a top priority. Also, it is important that you wait to accept a settlement until medical issues are diagnosed and on the path to resolution. Following a serious accident, medical care can be one reason why your case may seem to be stalled. Specialists can take weeks or months to get an appointment with, and you may be required to see several doctors during the course of your recovery.
- Investigation – When an attorney accepts your case, he or she will begin to review all documentation and physical evidence related to your accident. Your case will be examined for any weaknesses, and your attorney may begin talking to potential witnesses about your case.
- Settlement offers – Only after an attorney investigates can he or she understand the value of your case and what a fair settlement amount might be. This could be the time your case settles with the insurance company. Approximately 95 percent of personal injury cases are settled before the case reaches trial in court. Settlements not only provide quicker resolutions but also a level of control for both sides. A trial—especially a jury trial—can have an unpredictable outcome that could be undesirable for either party.
- Filing suit – This is the beginning of the trial process, and your lawyer will file a petition on your behalf. Once you file a lawsuit, you are on the court’s timeline. Some courts move quickly, while others are busy with few court date openings. The court’s availability can slow down your case.
- Discovery – By filing a lawsuit, you can now request documentation that the insurance company is required to provide to you. You can also depose witnesses, which may be essential to building your case. Sometimes, information revealed during discovery will lead to a settlement.
- Trial – A trial could be over in a day or could take a few weeks depending on the number of witnesses and the severity of the injuries. If you exercise your right to a jury trial, selecting the jury alone may take a number of days.
Every case is different and predicting how long yours will take will depend on the complicating factors involved. To discuss your accident with an experienced Monterey County personal injury attorney, contact our office. Call (408) 298-7200 for a free consultation at Corsiglia McMahaon & Allard, L.L.P. today.Source