When a client has been in a car accident and is seeking damages, a frequently asked question is, “How long will it take to settle my case?”. That depends since there are two ways to resolve a personal injury case: settlement out of court or verdict at trial.
The first step towards settling a claim is to file a lawsuit and then decide if you want to settle out of court or go to trial Typically, both parties decide to settle out of court. If one part refuses to settle out of court, the lawsuit will go to trial.
As a general rule, settlements tend to be resolved quicker than trials, one of the reasons why most parties choose former option. So if you do decide to settle out of court, how much time can you expect this process to take?
Let’s start from the beginning since there is really no specified time period. However, the following will give you a general idea of what to expect.
Whether the claimant has a claim against an individual or a company, he has two years from the date of injury to file a lawsuit. However, this time period can be longer or shorter depending on the facts of the case. Any experienced attorney can help pinpoint time frames on a case-by-case basis.
Once the claimant files, the two insurance companies can spend up to two years trying to negotiate the claim out of court. If the claimant wants to go to court, they must file a claim within that time frame. Once the expiration date is reached and a lawsuit has not been filed, the opportunity to file passes forever. If the entity at fault is a government agency, the claimant only has 180 days from the date of injury to file a claim. This claim needs to be filed with the right representative of the government agency being sued and using a professional attorney is the best way to see that the claim in filed correctly and with the right person. The deadlines put on claimants as to how much time they have to file a lawsuit is called “statues of limitations”.
As far as the amount of time it takes to settle a case in or out of court, there is no deadline. Typically, the length of time can depend on many variables, including the complexity of the case, the extent of the injuries, and whether or not both parties are cooperative.
To learn more about how long it could take to settle your personal injury claim, call us at 800-975-0080 and a friendly attorney will discuss your case with you during a free, no obligation consultation. Call us today!