How Long Does a Personal Injury Lawsuit Take?

Accident victims who suffer injuries because of someone else’s negligence may file a personal injury claim or lawsuit with the at-fault party’s insurance carrier under certain circumstances. If the case does not settle at some point, the accident victim’s attorney may need to file a lawsuit in the state court system. At that point, the case will proceed through litigation.

Sometimes, the case may still settle during litigation and before trial. Other lawsuits may not resolve until the parties take their case to a civil jury trial in court – or an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) proceeding, such as a mediation session or binding arbitration hearing.

The time it takes to resolve a personal injury lawsuit depends on various circumstances, including the nature and complexity of the case and the insurance company the accident victim is dealing with.

One of the best ways to streamline a personal injury case and obtain an efficient result is to seek out experienced legal counsel to represent you as quickly as possible in your case. Your attorney can review your circumstances and file a third-party personal injury claim or lawsuit immediately. Your personal injury attorney in Tampa can then aggressively negotiate with insurance company adjusters to pursue the highest possible monetary award available in your case.

If the insurance company does not favorably settle your case out of court, your lawyer can file a lawsuit, litigate your case through the court system, and pursue a favorable result there. Your attorney will do everything possible to streamline the process and help you obtain a fair and efficient case result.

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What is the Basis for a Successful Personal Injury Lawsuit?

A personal injury claim or lawsuit stems from the concept of negligence. A negligent individual or entity acts unreasonably, given the prevailing circumstances.

For example, in a slip and fall accident scenario, a property owner might negligently fail to maintain their premises, causing a property visitor to slip and fall on the ground. Similarly, in a car accident, a negligent driver might engage in distracted driving or drive while intoxicated (DUI).

Accidents may occur when other individuals and entities behave negligently or recklessly.

Some of the most common accident scenarios that result from the negligent behavior of others include:

  • Truck and car accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Vehicle rollover accidents
  • Slip and falls
  • Negligent security incidents that occur on someone else’s premises
  • Workplace accidents
  • Construction site accidents

If you or someone you love recently sustained injuries in one of these accidents resulting from someone else’s negligence, immediately get the legal help you need. A personal injury attorney in your area can discuss your accident circumstances with you and determine your eligibility to file a timely personal injury claim or lawsuit.

How Do I Prove a Personal Injury Claim or Lawsuit?

To recover monetary damages for personal injuries that an individual suffered in an accident, the individual must satisfy the legal burden of proof in the case.

Personal Injury

First, an accident victim has to demonstrate that the other party owed them a legal duty of care. For example, in a premises accident, property owners have an affirmative duty to maintain their premises – and to warn about or correct known defective conditions on their premises – within a reasonable amount of time.

Vehicle drivers, on the other hand, have a duty to follow all traffic regulations and ensure that they drive carefully and safely under the circumstances.

In addition to establishing a duty of care, an injured accident victim must demonstrate that the other individual or entity violated that legal duty of care. For example, the other party might have failed to clean up a spill within a reasonable time or drove while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, negligently causing an accident.

Next, the accident victim must legally show that as a direct result of the other party’s negligence, both the accident and their injuries occurred.

An accident victim’s lawyer can sometimes retain several experts to testify in a particular case. First, the accident victim’s attorney can retain an accident reconstructionist to piece together how the accident happened after reviewing police reports, witness statements, injury photographs, medical records, medical bills, and other case-related documentation.

Additionally, a medical expert can physically examine the accident victim and make the necessary causal connection between the victim’s claimed injuries and the accident. The medical provider can also establish that, in their opinion, the accident victim suffered a permanent injury in their accident.

One of the possible detriments to retaining experts in a personal injury case is that doing so may prolong the settlement or litigation process. Retaining experts often takes time, and the defense attorney may want to take the expert’s deposition during the discovery phase of litigation. Preparing an expert for a legal proceeding, including a deposition or trial, can also take time.

A knowledgeable car accident attorney in your case can retain the necessary experts to prove the legal elements of your claim or lawsuit. Your lawyer can also streamline the process, ensuring it moves along smoothly.

Filing a Third-party Personal Injury Claim or Lawsuit for Monetary Damages in Your Case

A knowledgeable car accident lawyer in your case can file the appropriate personal injury claim or lawsuit. If you suffered injuries in a car accident in a no-fault state like Florida, your attorney can help you file a claim under your Personal Injury Protection, or PIP, coverage.

Under that coverage, you may receive a portion of your lost income and your medical expenses. The maximum amount of PIP insurance coverage in Florida is $10,000.

However, if you sustained a permanent disability or disfiguring injury in your accident, you can turn to the at-fault driver’s insurance company for additional monetary compensation.

In jurisdictions like Washington State, car accident victims can start pursuing monetary compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurer instead of beginning with their own PIP coverage. Victims of accidents besides car crashes may also turn to the at-fault party’s insurer for the necessary monetary damages.

As part of the claims-filing process, your attorney can submit copies of relevant documents, including investigation reports, medical records, medical bills, injury photographs, lost income documentation, prior income tax returns, and photographs of any property damage. If video footage recorded the incident, the accident victim’s attorney can also include that footage.

After the insurance company adjuster handling the claim reviews all of this information, settlement negotiations may begin. These negotiations will usually continue until the parties resolve their case through settlement or reach a roadblock.

In the latter instance, the accident victim’s attorney can file a lawsuit and begin litigation in the court system. During this process, the parties will engage in both written and oral discovery and may need to attend one or more settlement conferences with the court.

Even after filing a lawsuit in the case, the parties can still reach an amicable settlement. However, if the parties cannot resolve their case, they may proceed to a civil jury trial.

During a trial, the accident victim’s lawyer will introduce evidence, call witnesses to testify on the stand, and make an opening statement and closing argument. The jury will then consider all the evidence the parties present in the case and decide what monetary damages to award the injured accident victim.

Instead of taking a case to trial, the parties may pursue alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation or binding arbitration. These methods provide alternative options to a jury trial for effectively resolving a personal injury claim.

Your attorney can help you decide whether you should accept an insurance company’s settlement offer or litigate your case through the court system by filing a lawsuit.

Factors That May Influence the Amount of Time It Takes for a Lawsuit to Resolve in Court

The time it takes for a personal injury lawsuit to resolve will vary significantly from case to case.

Some factors that may affect the time it takes to resolve a lawsuit include:

  • The specific accident circumstances, including the accident that occurred, the injuries the accident victim suffered, and the amount of time it takes for the accident victim to complete their medical treatment
  • The availability of expert witnesses in the case, including medical experts
  • The amount of time it takes to obtain certain documents, including lost income documents, medical records, and medical bills
  • The level of cooperation that the accident victim’s attorney receives from the handling insurance company adjuster
  • The insurance company and settlement adjuster with whom the accident victim’s attorney is dealing
  • The availability of evidence to prove the various aspects of the personal injury claim or lawsuit
  • Whether filing a lawsuit (or litigation) becomes a necessary step in the case
  • Whether the case needs to go to a civil jury trial or binding arbitration proceeding
  • Whether the personal injury case is pending in a so-called plaintiff-friendly venue

Your attorney can help you weigh the legal decisions that you face in your case and pursue the best possible monetary result.

Statute of Limitations in Personal Injury Cases

Injured victims of accidents resulting from someone else’s negligence only have a short time to file a personal injury lawsuit for monetary damages. The statutory period differs from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

For example, in Florida, injured accident victims only have two years from their accident date to file a personal injury lawsuit for damages. The statute of limitations in Washington State allows three years from the accident date to file a lawsuit.

Missing the statute of limitations deadline can devastate a personal injury case. If the accident victim misses their filing deadline, the court will prevent them from recovering any monetary damages for their accident-related injuries. Therefore, it is in your best interests to retain legal counsel to represent you as soon as possible in your case.

Maximizing Your Personal Injury Monetary Damages

The monetary damages that accident victims recover in a personal injury claim or lawsuit are very case-specific. Damages may depend on the extent of your injuries, the cost of your medical treatment, the scope of your pain and suffering, and whether or not you suffered a permanent injury in your accident.

Third-party monetary damages may include compensation for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Lost earnings
  • Mental distress
  • Loss of spousal companionship and consortium
  • Loss of the ability to use a specific body part
  • Loss of life enjoyment
  • Past and future pain and suffering
  • Inconvenience
  • Permanent disfigurement

Your attorney can ascertain the likely value of your personal injury claim or lawsuit and can help you set realistic expectations for your case. Your attorney can then maximize your total monetary damages.

Speak with an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney in Your Area Today

If you sustained injuries in an accident that resulted from another person or entity’s negligence, the time to take action is now. Once a personal injury attorney enters an appearance on your behalf, they can start advocating for you and safeguarding your legal interests.

Tatiana Boohoff
Tatiana Boohoff, Personal Injury Lawyer in Tampa.

Specifically, your lawyer can handle all dealings with insurance company representatives and, if necessary, help you litigate your case through the court system to a favorable conclusion.

Your lawyer can do all this for you while you focus on what is most important, recovering from your injuries. You can enjoy the peace of mind of knowing that you have an experienced attorney advocating for you and ensuring that you don’t miss any deadline and that your case is in good hands.

Instead of worrying about how long your case might take, you should focus on starting the process with the right support as soon as possible. Consult a personal injury attorney and decide who to retain. Then, you work with your lawyer to place your case on the right track to success – and as efficiently as possible.

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Boohoff Law P.A. – Tampa Office

829 W Dr Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
Tampa, FL 33603

Phone: 813-725-5606

August 14, 2023
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