Every case and every client is different, and the timeframe of any personal injury case is just as unique and dependent on a variety of factors. For example, the amount of investigation that is necessary to demonstrate the legal liability of the at-fault party will impact the timeline of the case. The type of injuries and how long it takes to recover and complete medical treatment will also be a factor. Then, you have to consider whether or not you can settle or if you’ll have to file a lawsuit. Lawsuits naturally take more time, and simply making it to trial can take longer in some places than it does in others. All of these elements of your case will combine to determine how long it takes to get through it.
The statue of limitations to file a personal injury case is two years, meaning that you have to file your lawsuit within two years of the accident if you are going to do it. If you try to file later, your case will be dismissed as you have lost the legal right to file a lawsuit after two years. It is unwise to wait this long to file your case, of course. You want to wait until your medical condition is stable, then move forward with the claim as quickly as possible.
The reason you should wait until your medical condition is stable is because your medical records, expenses, and future expenses cannot be valued until the information is complete. Your personal injury attorney will use this information to determine the value of your claim and then attempt to reach a settlement amount without the need of a lawsuit by negotiating with the insurance company or the person who is legally responsible for your injuries.
Whenever a settlement can’t be reached, this is when it is time to file a lawsuit, though filing a lawsuit does not necessarily indicate that you’re going to have to take the case to trial. Sometimes, filing a lawsuit is what gives the insurance company more motivation to offer a fair settlement. Once the lawsuit is filed, however, your attorney will prepare for trial.
You can learn more about the timeline of personal injury claims by contacting a Pennsylvania personal injury attorney and getting a free consultation for your case.