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How Long Does a Personal Injury Lawsuit Take?

If you have been hurt in an accident, you may be wondering, “How long does a personal injury lawsuit take to resolve?” You may also be anxious to resolve your personal injury claim as quickly as possible so you can move forward with your life.

That is understandable. However, remember that a quick resolution can leave money on the table. Depending on the complexity and circumstances of your case, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to over a year to secure full and fair compensation. Though some cases are settled quickly, patience is key.

Key Takeaways

  • Personal injury cases in Virginia can take anywhere from a few months to over a year.
  • The timetable for resolving a personal injury lawsuit depends on many factors, including the severity of your injuries, the complexity of the case, and the pace of negotiations with the defendant and their insurance company.
  • Our knowledgeable Virginia personal injury attorneys can ensure you know your options and guide your case to a satisfactory resolution.

What a Personal Injury Lawsuit Timeline Looks Like

You should consider pursuing a personal injury lawsuit if you were injured by the negligence or recklessness of another party. A personal injury lawsuit lets you seek compensation for your damages in civil court. While every case is unique, most personal injury lawsuits go through the same basic steps:

  • Investigation – Our Virginia personal injury attorneys will conduct a thorough and independent investigation to establish the at-fault party’s liability for your accident.
  • Filing a claim – We will file a personal injury claim once the investigation is complete. Under the Virginia personal injury statute of limitations, you normally have two years from the date of injury to file a lawsuit seeking compensation.
  • Discovery – In the discovery phase of a personal injury lawsuit, involved parties exchange relevant evidence. This normally involves record requests, depositions, and written answers to questions.
  • Negotiation and mediation – Settlement negotiations can happen at any time throughout the claims process. Many cases also go through mediation before a full-fledged trial. If you receive a fair settlement offer and decide to accept, then your case will be finished before additional steps.
  • Trial – If a meaningful settlement cannot be reached through negotiation, taking your case to trial may be necessary. A trial can last anywhere from a single day to a few weeks. The length will depend on many factors, such as the number of witnesses each party calls and the complexity of the evidence presented.
  • Verdict – If your case does not settle before you win at trial, the final verdict will specify the monetary compensation you are entitled to for your damages. 
  • Collect compensation – Once you agree on a settlement or receive a favorable verdict, the defendants or their insurers will be responsible for compensating you. It could take a few weeks to receive your check.

It is important to note that the steps in your own personal injury lawsuit may vary. For example, negotiation may continue until the very last day of the trial. No matter how things unfold, you can count on our attorneys to keep you informed throughout the life of your case. We will never leave you hanging.

Timeline of a Personal Injury Case by Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers withBody: [Segmented Timeline with Highlighted Milestones for PI Cases Pre-Litigation Phases Initial Consultation: Start of legal guidance. Medical Treatment: Continuous care, crucial for evidence. Case Assessment: Evaluation to strategize the lawsuit. Investigation: Gathering of all relevant evidence. Key Milestone: Filing the Claim {Highlighted with a standout icon or banner}: Marks the official commencement of legal proceedings. Early Litigation Stages Pleadings: Formal documents defining the legal grounds of the case. Discovery: In-depth exchange of information between parties. Key Milestone: Pre-Trial Motions and Hearings {Highlighted with a standout icon or banner}: Critical for setting the legal boundaries and preliminary rulings before the trial. Negotiation and Settlement Negotiation/Mediation: Attempts to resolve the case without a full trial. Settlement Phase: Potential end of the lawsuit without going to trial. Key Milestone: Trial {Highlighted with a standout icon or banner}: The core judicial process where the case is argued in court. Decision Phases Verdict: Conclusion of the trial with a formal decision. Appeal Process: Possible continuation if the verdict is contested. Key Milestone: Compensation Collection {Highlighted with a standout icon or banner}: The achievement of the lawsuit’s goal through the collection of awarded damages. Post-Judgment Post-Judgment Actions: Enforcement of the court’s orders. Closure: Official end of legal proceedings and case resolution.]

Factors Affecting Settlement Time

Again, one of the most common questions we receive is, “How long does a personal injury lawsuit take to resolve?” Here is the simple yet understandably frustrating answer: Every case is different. Some are resolved in a matter of weeks, and some are resolved in a matter of months. More complex or contested cases may take over a year.

Our skilled personal injury attorneys can help you understand your case’s potential timeline after evaluating its specific circumstances in your free consultation. Again, though many factors may influence come into play, patience is always key.

Severity of Injuries

One of the most significant factors affecting personal injury settlement timelines is the extent and severity of the injuries involved. Cases involving minor injuries tend to resolve more quickly than more serious cases. By contrast, cases involving serious injuries are often more contested because the monetary stakes are higher. This can drag out the timeline.

Length of the Investigation

The average settlement period for a personal injury case will vary depending on the length of the investigation required to identify the responsible parties and gather all available evidence. For example, if several liable parties are involved, the investigation process may take longer than in cases involving only one defendant.

Further, the more severe your injuries, the more likely it is you will need extensive treatment before you reach maximum medical recovery. To ensure you receive full and fair compensation, it may be necessary to wait for a clear prognosis. Our legal team will take a strategic approach to make sure you do not leave money on the table while also ensuring you do not miss the all-important filing deadline.

Case Complexity

The severity of your injuries and the length of the investigation are closely tied to the general complexity of your case. Of course, the more intricate the factual and legal details of your case are, the longer it may take to resolve. No matter the complexity of your personal injury case, our attorneys have the skills and resources necessary to handle it from start to finish. While you focus on your recovery, we will focus on maximizing your compensation.

Negotiating With Insurance

Another important factor influencing the settlement timeline is the back-and-forth process of negotiating with the defendant and their insurance company. Unfortunately, some insurance companies will resort to dirty tricks, such as purposely stalling the process to “run down the clock” on the statute of limitations. Our attorneys know how to deal with insurers eager to minimize or deny the full value of your claim.

Jim Hurley headshot

Jim Hurley, Personal Injury Lawyer

You have to go ahead and get full medical treatment, usually taking months and months. After that, we gather everything we need—medical records, medical bills, the initial police investigation, private investigator investigations—so we can forward all of that to the other person’s insurance company that injured you. Then, they take time to review everything and get back to us with an offer. And then, we have to go back and forth because their offers are often terrible. We have to convince them why they are so terrible and get you a better offer. We always ask people to be patient because here we want you to get the best results, which often does take some time.

Will My Personal Injury Case Go to Trial?

Only a small percentage of personal injury matters go to trial. While it may be necessary to file a lawsuit to demonstrate that you are serious about pursuing damages, most cases settle before they reach the actual trial date.

However, it is still critical to work with a skilled personal injury lawyer with the advocacy skills necessary to take your case to trial should it become necessary. Our attorneys will address your personal injury questions as your case moves forward so you can proceed with peace of mind.

Get Legal Help for Your Personal Injury Lawsuit

If you or a loved one has been hurt in an accident in Virginia, securing high-quality legal representation is the best way to protect your right to compensation. Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers is dedicated to guiding injured Virginians through the personal injury lawsuit process and helping them exercise their legal rights.

Let us put our extensive resources and decades of experience to work for you. Call (757) 333-3333 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.

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