How Long Can a Lawsuit Take For a Car Accident?
Accidents are never planned. Road accidents especially, just a moment of lost control, and the situation could take a turn for the worse.
It's bad enough that you were affected; everything else occupying your mind is how you will heal and of course, get your car back on the road.
If filing a lawsuit will help make things better, having a deeper understanding of the question “how long does a lawsuit take for a car accident?” and the processes involved will do you a world of good.
Filing a lawsuit for a car accident
Firstly, these types of lawsuits are regarded as “Personal Injury Cases”. It provides an opportunity for you to get settled, often with money, when someone crashes into your vehicle.
It is broader than “money” suggests. Because the accident was likely caused by negligence on the part of the offending driver, the law expects them to take responsibility for the outcome.
This includes auto repair costs, medical bills, income lost from not working, and emotional distress.
Most car accidents don’t require lawsuits. They often end in settlements.
You’d think that basic humanity would ensure people comply with the terms of the settlement. Unfortunately, sometimes issues come up.
It could be on the part of the defendant. Perhaps, they decided to contest the actual cause of the accident. It might also be the insurance company deciding to pay less than you believe you deserve.
This results in a car accident lawsuit dragging for longer than it should. However, with qualified accident injury attorneys or a good legal team on your side, the truth should prevail and justice served.
How long does it take before a car accident lawsuit is settled?
A case can be resolved at any time. It could be just after the complaint is served to the defendant or after the trial is over.
An exact duration would be impossible to determine. Even the most clear-cut cases might take a surprising turn and end up dragging for much longer than was anticipated.
Likewise, those seemingly tough cases could get settled before you can spell “l-a-w-s-u-i-t”. This ultimately depends on the parties involved.
The stages for different cases differ. Several factors are considered before requests are granted.
Here is a quick guide (in 5 phases) with a timeline that should give you a clear view of how long the process of a lawsuit takes –
Phase 1: The victim (plaintiff) who has been affected, files the complaint and the processes involved in the lawsuit begins.
Phase 2: A formal document called the “complaint” is served to the defendant. This usually takes a few weeks to complete. However, it can take longer if the defendant is being difficult.
Phase 3: The next phase will be the defendant answering the complaint. Usually, the court gives the defendant a month to reply to the plaintiff's complaint.
Phase 4: At this phase, both parties will search for different information that will hold their case up in court. This is the “Discovery phase” which can take anywhere from a couple of months to even years to be concluded.
Phase 5: The court gives the final verdict. It doesn't go beyond a day or two for completion.
Note that after the trial, there could be a ‘Potential Appeal’. If a party isn't satisfied with the outcome of the trial, an appeal is possible. There are several stages of appeal that could lengthen the duration of the case further.
Ultimately, a successful car accident lawsuit could save you a lot. It’ll make the process of getting your car back on the road and your life back on track that much easier.
You’ll need top-notch representation if you’re to succeed here. And that’s where we come in.
You can reach out to our accident injury attorneys at Erjavec Law or call 941-907-1133 for representation if you’re involved in a car accident that was caused by someone’s negligence.
For more information about personal injury law, reach out to us on our website.