If you are thinking about filing a personal injury lawsuit, you may be wondering how long the process will take until you see results.
In most cases, it takes months or even years to reach a settlement agreement with the parties responsible for your injuries and other damages. However, if an agreement cannot be reached with the at-fault party’s insurance adjuster, the case may go to trial, which can make the process even longer.
The following are the common stages of a personal injury lawsuit:
- Obtain medical treatment – The first important step after suffering an injury is getting medical treatment. Not only is it important to your health and wellbeing, but if you do not see a doctor for some time following an accident, the insurance provider and the jury will believe that you weren’t harmed at all.
- Get an attorney – If you experience a serious injury, are out of work for more than a few days, or if your medical bills total more than a couple of thousand dollars, it is imperative to choose a lawyer as soon as possible.
- Investigate claim and review medical records – Your attorney will conduct a thorough evaluation of your accident, your background, and your medical condition and treatment in order to gather all of the information related to the accident.
- Considering an early settlement – Many personal injury claims are settled prior to a lawsuit ever being filed. If the attorney believes that the case can be settled, he or she will make a demand to the other attorney or the other party’s insurance adjuster. If the other party cannot meet your demands, then your attorney will file a lawsuit. If your claim involves a permanent injury, your lawyer should not settle before filing a lawsuit.
- The lawsuit is filed – When a lawsuit is filed, it typically takes one to two years for a personal injury case to go to trial. It is important to file a lawsuit within the statute of limitations.
- Discovery – The discovery process entails each party investigating the other’s legal claims and defenses. They send interrogatories and document requests to one another and take depositions of all witnesses involved in the case. This process can last six months to a year, depending on the circumstances of your case.
- Settlement negotiations – Once the discovery process concludes, the attorneys will often start working on a settlement.
- Trial – If a settlement is not reached, the case is scheduled for trial. The trial itself can last a day, a week, or even longer.
If you suffered an injury caused by a negligent party in Massachusetts, contact our Worcester personal injury attorney at the Law Office of Robert W. Kovacs, Jr. and schedule a free consultation today.