If you have been injured in an accident that was not your fault, you likely have many questions on your mind. One thing you should know is that when you have been involved in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, you could potentially be entitled to redress in the form of payment for physical and/or psychological injury.
One major question you probably are wondering is how long it could be until you reach a settlement once the legal process begins. There is no clear answer to that question. You could have a settlement in as soon as a few weeks or as long as a couple of years. It largely depends on the complexity of the personal injury lawsuit case.
How Long Does it Take to Settle a Personal Injury Lawsuit ?
The most salient factors in a personal injury case are the severity of your injuries and the treatment you require after the accident. If your injuries are relatively minor, the case is typically settled rather quickly.
One of the first actions you should take if you find yourself involved potentially in a personal injury lawsuit is to hire a capable attorney. Only a highly skilled lawyer will be able to try your case effectively and aggressively seek legal redress due to you.
In this blog article, we will address the relevant factors and considerations that determine how long a personal injury lawsuit could take to reach a settlement.
What the Victim Must Prove in Court
In essence, the victim has to prove that she was not at fault and the third party caused her injuries. The complainant – the person who was injured – has to show that the defendant owed a legal duty of care to the person who sustained injuries in the accident. She must also prove that the defendant has not fulfilled legal duty by doing or not doing something that caused the victim to suffer damages and loss.
The victim can file for a settlement or compensation.
Damages that Are Considered as the Personal Injury
The legal process begins in a personal injury lawsuit by the person who is injured filing for compensation. If you are injured in an accident due to apparent negligence, you are eligible for financial compensation. You receive money for your pain and injuries. This is known as damages. If the defendant is found guilty, he or she is responsible for paying damages to the plaintiff – the person who was injured.
Types of Damages
One of the most common types of damages is compensatory damages – paid to compensate someone for loss, injury, or damages sustained from a third party’s carelessness. In a personal injury case, damages are awarded if there was a breach of wrong civil action. The applicant, or injured person, receives compensation based on the position of the damages.
In the case of personal injury damages, it is divided into two categories, i.e. special damages and general damages.
With respect to general damages, the injured party is compensated for injuries by monetary aspects. General damages can include:
- Physical Pain
- Emotional Suffering
- Mental or physical impairment
In this type of scenario, the plaintiff must prove that these damages happened as a direct result of the injury and not pre-existing conditions. Only then could you, the victim, be eligible for compensation.
With respect to special damages, the victim is compensated for the monetary losses occurring because of an injury caused by the third party. Monetary compensation could be awarded for numerous reasons. Here are examples of some of these typical reasons:
- Lost earnings
- Repairing or replacing property
- Compensating for irreplaceable items
- Covering extra costs having to do with the injury
When it comes to repairing or replacing property and pursuing compensation for irreplaceable items, you must prove that your property was damaged in the accident or wrongful event caused by others.
Extent of Damages and Compensation in a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Pain and Suffering – You, as the victim, have the right to seek compensation for your physical pain and mental anguish that you are going through because of the injuries sustained in the accident.
Medical Expenses for Treatment – The victim is eligible to receive compensation for all medical expenses incurred for the treatment of injuries as a result of the accident. The victim also has the ability to claim for the compensation that is designated for future medical expenses.
Damages that Result in Loss of Earnings – You are eligible to receive financial compensation for loss of earning capacity because of your accident-related injuries. What qualifies as recoverable are lost wages or salaries, bonuses, commissions, and fringe benefits.
Loss of Future Earning Capacity – You are able to file a claim to recover the value of your future earning capacity if you are unable to work as a direct result of the accident.
Damages that Lead to Wrongful Death – Your wife, parent, or child are eligible for damages for wrongful death claims. Everyone who is connected by blood or marriage, or who is dependent on the deceased, can request rightful recovery.
Deformity – You can also file for compensation associated with deformity with respect to marks or scars caused by the injury.
Information Your Lawyer Will Need From You
- Date of the accident.
- Contact details of witnesses.
- All relevant information having to do with the personal injuries you sustained and a medical diagnosis and the type of medical treatment you are or will be receiving.
- Your attorney will need to know if you have any insurance policies that cover the costs of a legal procedure. If so, that could significantly reduce your legal fees and expenses.
- Evidence that proves your earning loss and damages.
- Insurance documents that could cover your losses, such as health insurance and vehicle insurance.
- Documents having to do with any past legal claim cases.
How Long a Personal Lawsuit Could Take
As noted earlier, the length of time will vary depending on the extent of injuries and the number of parties involved. Often a case will last a year from the date of filing the complaint to settlement. It could also be six months. In only a minority of cases will a personal injury lawsuit take two to three years to settle.
Read our past blog on how long an auto accident personal injury lawsuit could take.
Roberts Jones Law Is Here To Serve Your Legal Needs During Personal Injury Cases
If you have been involved in an accident and there are multiple parties involved, you need legal services from an experienced personal injury attorney from Roberts Jones Law. Our attorneys at Roberts Jones Law have the expertise and experience necessary to effectively handle multiple insurance companies simultaneously and to build a case designed to protect your rights and interests.
At Roberts Jones Law we will provide you with the guidance, care, and support needed to secure the compensation you deserve. If you have been injured as a result of someone’s carelessness, breach of duty of care, or deliberate act, you have rights under the law to seek compensation for your damages.
Trust the attorneys at Roberts Jones Law when you want legal services catered to your individual needs.
This article is for informational purposes only and does not contain legal advice.