No one relishes the thought of fighting with insurance companies or negligent parties for weeks, months, or sometimes even years. However, in personal injury lawsuits, sometimes it happens. Personal injury cases are complex and involve determining liability, collecting evidence, retaining expert testimony, and more. When clients first start pursuing a personal injury case, one of the first things they want to know is how long their case will take.
Unfortunately, there is no clear cut answer to this question. Every personal injury case is unique, and the length of time it will take depends on a number of factors.
The Severity of Injuries
Before a personal injury claim is filed, you must understand the full extent of your injuries. This is the only way to assess current and future damages, so you can claim the full amount of compensation you are entitled to.
You will likely have several doctor’s visits, and a physician must be able to determine your prognosis. You may also have to obtain second opinions, visit specialists, and undergo testing. All of this takes time. The more serious your injuries are, the longer your personal injury case will take.
The Number of Defendants
Sometimes, there is more than one defendant in a personal injury case. For example, three drivers could be involved in the same accident. When this is the case, personal injury cases typically take longer. Cases that involve more than one defendant mean there are more lawyers, more testimony, more evidence, and more court hearings.
Although multiple defendants does mean a case will take longer, these cases are still important to pursue. Claiming damages from several defendants sometimes means increased compensation.
Settlement or Trial
Most personal injury cases settle out of court. Defendants typically want to settle so they can determine the amount of compensation they pay, and not a jury. Settling is also often cheaper for defendants, which saves them in litigation fees. When the parties involved cannot agree on a settlement, the case will go to trial.
However, settling is not always the best option, sometimes going to trial is the only way to get the fair compensation you deserve.
Statute of Limitations
Although you likely want your personal injury case to be over as soon as possible, it’s important you also realize you only have a certain amount of time to file. In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations, or time limit, you have to file is two years from the date of your accident.
This is an important date, particularly if you are suffering from severe injury. It will take time to determine how long it will take to recover, and how many expenses you will incur. As such, it’s important to speak to an attorney as soon as you can after the accident. When an attorney represents you from the very beginning, they can help move your case along as quickly as possible, and ensure it’s filed within the two-year time limit.
Were You Injured? Call Our Pennsylvania Personal Injury Attorneys Today
If you were hurt in an accident caused by someone else, it’s important you act quickly so time doesn’t run out on your claim. At van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim, we are the Allentown personal injury attorneys that can help. We will work swiftly gathering evidence to support your claim, and hold insurance companies and at-fault parties responsible for paying the compensation you deserve. Call us today at (215) 486-0123 so we can begin reviewing your case.