After you have been injured in an accident, the first thing that most people do is seek appropriate medical treatments for both immediate injuries and lasting conditions. It may be days or weeks before you begin to think about hiring an attorney to review the facts of your personal injury complaint and perhaps seek a settlement with insurance companies or file a lawsuit on your behalf.
When that time comes, there can be many questions about what the process will be and how long it might take to resolve the personal injury complaint. A timeline is hard to predict, but by understanding the steps involved in resolving your legal issue, you can better understand what is ahead.
Your Lawyer Studies the Facts of Your Case
As soon as you have hired a personal injury lawyer, they will interview you about how the accident happened, about your medical, professional, and personal background, and about your current medical conditions and medical treatments you have undergone since the accident.
It can be tiring to go over every detail of your accident and many details of your life, but your lawyer needs to know everything that you know about the accident and your injury and treatment so that the personal injury complaint filed on your behalf is as thorough as possible.
After talking with you, your personal injury lawyer will review any documents relating to your claim, including all of your medical records and bills relating to the injuries that resulted from the accident. If the accident inflamed or worsened an existing injury, then your lawyer may ask you to provide other, older medical records to document what you are suffering.
Negotiating with Insurance Companies or Other Businesses
Sometimes, your personal injury complaint might be eligible to be settled before a lawsuit is filed. If, after the interview and document review, your lawyer believes your case can be settled, then they will make a demand to the other attorney or the other side’s insurance company. This can result in a shorter process for resolving your case and making you monetarily whole again.
If a settlement is not an option, your lawyer will file the lawsuit. Usually, if you have been permanently injured or impaired, your case will not settle this early in the process.
Determining Maximum Medical Improvement
Knowing when you have reached a point of maximum medical improvement (MMI) can be important in determining when to file a lawsuit and what demands to make from the opposing party. MMI can be determined when you have completed your medical treatments and are as well as you can be after your injury.
This can take a while, but it is important because if you have not reached your MMI by the time the case goes to trial, the jury might undervalue your personal injury complaint.
After the Personal Injury Complaint is Filed
When a lawsuit is filed, pretrial motions immediately begin, and the timeline as to when your case will go to trial becomes more clear. Once a personal injury complaint is filed, the opposing party must file a response rather quickly, usually within about a month.
Both parties then have the opportunity to gather and review evidence – this process is called discovery. Interrogatories, or formally drafted questions to the opposing party, will be sent and received, and depositions will be scheduled and taken.
During this pretrial period, at any point, the judge or either party can request mediation or negotiation to settle the claim. Once a lawsuit is filed, it can take two years or more for the case to go to trial.
How can an Attorney Help?
The injury and accident attorneys at the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm can expedite the process and fight for the best possible outcome for you in your personal injury complaint. Contact us today for more information.