There is no typical personal injury lawsuit timeline because there is no typical personal injury lawsuit. Although we have seen personal injury claims resolve in one to two years, anything can happen in the case to change that time frame.
Here is the general timeline your personal injury case could follow.
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An accident occurs
This is the obvious place to start. We want to mark it here as the start of the personal injury lawsuit timeline for a reason. Details of the accident address a critical element of a personal injury case, as recognized by tort law: causation.
For your injury to be eligible for compensation, we will need to prove that someone else caused the accident or incident that led to your injury. Our lawyers will:
- Visit the accident scene
- Interview witnesses
- Obtain the accident report
- Take other measures to gather the evidence to establish causation
You seek medical treatment
After—and hopefully soon after—the accident or incident, you visit with a medical professional. Although most accident victims do not question going to the emergency room for broken bones or severe bleeding, some may dismiss or put off the need to see a health care provider if they do not detect injuries after their accident. You must seek medical attention regardless of what you see or feel, as there might be internal injuries with latent symptoms.
A doctor can detect injuries and treat them before they get worse. The physician will also document the injuries so that you have an easier time connecting the physical damage to the accident. This will facilitate our argument that the accident—and therefore, the defendant—caused your injuries. This represents another critical element of the personal injury lawsuit.
You contact a personal injury law firm
When you sustain injuries in an accident, the process of pursuing compensation becomes vastly more complex than an accident that causes only property damage. A personal injury lawyer from our team will help you with your personal injury lawsuit in many ways.
Investigating the accident
Our lawyers will talk to you about the accident that caused your injury and investigate to gather the evidence we need to support your claim that someone else is legally liable for your injuries.
Calculating your damages
Most people cannot begin to imagine the extent to which their injuries will cost them— financially, physically, and emotionally. We will consider every type of recoverable damage in your case so we can demand compensation that reflects the true price you have paid for your injuries.
Some of the types of damages we will explore include:
- Medical costs and expenses
- Lost wages and benefits
- Pain and suffering
Handling the insurance company
Our law firm will step in to handle every communication with the insurance company, leaving you free to focus on your physical recovery. Under no circumstances should you sign any documents or forms from the negligent party’s insurance company.
You do not need to even speak to the insurer—and you should consider saying as little as possible. No matter how genuinely sympathetic they may seem, the insurance reps work for the insurance company, and they will use your words against you.
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Your personal injury lawyer works to reach a settlement
After our lawyers have built your case—founded on compelling evidence—and calculated your damages, we will compose a demand letter. This document tells the negligent party’s insurance company how much we expect them to give you in compensation for your injuries.
The insurance company will likely reject our demand and offer a low-ball counteroffer in its place. At this point, we begin the negotiation process. If the insurer has not agreed to a fair settlement amount by the end of our talks, we will take the case to a civil court.
Your attorney files a personal injury lawsuit
If you reach a point where your lawyer is filing a lawsuit, this must happen within the time frame specified in Florida’s statute of limitations (Florida Statutes §95.11(3)(a)). An early start with your case gives us more time to negotiate a settlement and still take legal action if the negotiations do not work
Your lawsuit enters the discovery phase
In this pretrial stage, we will exchange evidence, take depositions, and so on. Quite likely, the settlement negotiations will continue during discovery. Again, it is rare for a personal injury lawsuit to make it to trial, so we might settle with the other party during discovery.
The trial happens
If the pretrial stage ends without a settlement, your case goes to trial. Both sides present their evidence and arguments. A jury will decide whether the defendant is liable for your injuries. If the answer is yes, the jury decides how much to award you in damages. If the answer is no, the trial ends.
Although you would not have won compensation, you will not have paid legal fees, as our firm works on a contingency basis. This means you pay us only if and when we win your case.
If you are considering a personal injury lawsuit, we will keep your timeline on track
If you suffered injuries due to someone else’s negligence, the legal team at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can keep your case on track to get you the settlement or court award you deserve.
Call us today for a free consultation.