How Long Will My Lawsuit Take?

How Long Will My Lawsuit Take?

Before pursuing legal action, many people want to know how long their lawsuit might take. After suffering an injury, people need to devote their time and energy to their recovery. However, lawsuits are not one size fits all situations. The time it takes to reach a settlement or verdict in your lawsuit depends on the specifics of your case. Your particular circumstances dictate the time frame of your claim. Yet, there are standard procedures for any lawsuit. Continue reading to learn more about the timeline of a lawsuit. 

Why Would Someone File a Lawsuit?

When someone suffers injury due to another person or company’s negligence, they may be entitled to compensation through a lawsuit. A broad range of events contributes to the grounds for a lawsuit. An individual may seek financial compensation for damages sustained through medical malpractice, a car accident, a hazardous drug, or a company’s defective product. 

The injury sustained through these events can result in costly medical expenses and lifelong ramifications that can indefinitely negatively impact someone’s life. The amount of time that it takes to resolve a lawsuit will vary because of the specific facts and circumstances of each case. However, most lawsuits will take several months or even years to resolve.

Seeking Medical Treatment

The first step after sustaining an injury is to undergo medical treatment. Your health will always come first and foremost in a lawsuit. Therefore, medical attention or an examination can help address any immediate health problems. However, there are certain exceptions to this, as injuries may not immediately present themselves. In some instances, victims will not realize they are hurt until later. For example, patients taking a specific drug may not develop cancer until months or years after prolonged usage. The severity and type of injury will determine the time of your medical treatment. Recovery may take months, or some people are still in recovery when they file a lawsuit. 

Furthermore, it is crucial to document your injury and medical expenses. This documentation will serve as evidence in your case. Attorneys require medical records to prove that the accident or negligence directly harmed you. Medical documentation will strengthen your claim because it can demonstrate the extent of your injury and the costs related to your recovery.  Once the injured party has received necessary medical care, they can consult with a personal injury attorney.

Hiring An Attorney 

You should enlist the help of an experienced and capable attorney to handle your claim. It is best to utilize the knowledge of a seasoned attorney who understands the intricacies and workings of the law. A qualified attorney will chart the best court of action to secure the compensation you deserve. Oftentimes, people will speak with a few attorneys before deciding which one to hire. It may take you a few weeks for you to decide on an attorney who is the best fit for your potential claim. Here at The Lake Law, we offer free confidential case evaluations to the public. A free case evaluation is an opportunity to ask the attorney questions about how they view your claim, their fees, and how they operate. Our capable attorneys are on standby to discuss your potential claim and answer any questions. 

After you feel you have found the right attorney for you, then you can proceed with filing a lawsuit. 

Filing a Lawsuit and the Discovery Phase 

After hiring an attorney, your lawyer will investigate and compile evidence to build your case. An attorney works to establish who is at fault for your injuries and calculate the damages you suffered due to your injury. Then, based on this work, the attorney will draft and file a lawsuit against the responsible party. This investigation and subsequent filing can take months. 

The filing initiates the discovery phase. During the discovery phase, both sides collect and exchange evidence in order to prepare for the trial. The discovery phase is a lengthy pre-trial process that can take several months or even years to complete. Attorneys for the plaintiff and defendant interview the involved parties, retrieve relevant documents, request additional medical examinations, and enlist expert testimony to secure information necessary to their arguments. 

However, it can be challenging to get ahold of witnesses, a party may object to the request of another, or the judge may need to intervene when the parties reach a stalemate. These setbacks and more can extend the discovery phase.

Once both sides feel they have gathered sufficient evidence, the case will either settle or go to trial. 

Settlement or Trial in a Lawsuit 

After the discovery phase, the parties should better understand the strength of their case. In more cut-and-dry personal injury lawsuits, parties may enter a settlement agreement. A plaintiff may decide that a settlement is preferable to spending more time on the lawsuit through a trial. Yet, while a settlement may decrease the timeframe of your lawsuit, it may offer less compensation. Defendants are sometimes unwilling to settle for the total worth of your claim. Luckily, your attorney will advise you on whether it is wise to settle or take the lawsuit to trial. 

If the parties are unable to agree on a settlement, the case goes to trial. The length of the trial depends on the number of witnesses, the case’s complexity, and if expert witnesses testify. A trial can take anywhere between a few weeks to several months. After the court proceedings, a jury or judge will issue a verdict. Although a verdict typically is the final chapter of a lawsuit, either party may appeal the court’s decision. An appeal can add several months to a lawsuit. 

The Lake Law Firm Can Help You 

Numerous factors can influence the length of your personal injury lawsuit. The type of alleged negligence, your specific injury, if you are still recovering, the costs of treatment, and the effect on your life, can all impact how long your lawsuit will take. A lawsuit may last only a few months, or it can span a couple of years. This process likely sounds like a daunting and extensive undertaking. Each case is different, so we recommend you speak with an attorney about the details of your potential claim. An attorney at The Lake Law Firm will support you every step of the way, regardless of the estimated timeframe of your lawsuit. 

The Lake Law Firm was founded by Edward J. Lake, Esq., a personal injury lawyer for over 25 years. Our dedicated team of attorneys is committed to seeking justice on behalf of those who have suffered injury or death due to the negligence of others. Our experienced attorneys handle many different types of pharmaceutical drugs, medical devices, and other defective products. The lawyers in our firm have helped collect millions of dollars for their clients. The Lake Law Firm will advocate for you and your rights. Please contact us for a free confidential case evaluation at (888) 274-0139.