Do you have a personal injury claim that you want to bring to an attorney? Before you do, you might be wondering how long does the average personal injury case takes to settle in Tampa. Could you be waiting months to receive your settlement? Or even years?
In this post, our legal experts break down the timeline for your average personal injury claim/lawsuit. Please note that more complex cases may follow a different timeline.
Receive the Necessary Medical Treatment For Your Injuries
If you are in a car accident and get injured, then the first thing you will want to do is get treated for your injuries. Car accident injuries can be quite serious, so victims are often taken to the hospital immediately after the incident.
Our personal injury attornies also stress that you should schedule an appointment with a doctor even if you aren’t experiencing any physical signs or symptoms following the car accident. Internal car accident injuries might not produce noticeable symptoms right away, but these injuries can be deadly if not treated.
It’s also important to see a doctor if you plan on filing an insurance claim for the accident. Why? Insurance adjusters might not take your claims seriously if you haven’t gone to see a doctor as soon as possible after your car accident.
Find a Good Personal Injury Attorney in Tampa
After you have received medical treatment for your injuries, then the next thing you should do is hire a personal injury lawyer. While it is possible to resolve some minor cases on your own, filing a personal injury claim is a complex process and you’ll want to have an expert guiding you through each phase of the process.
Unfortunately, insurance companies can get pretty ruthless when it comes to fighting your claim. The truth is that they will look for any reason they can to undermine your case and get out of paying for the damages you’re facing. If you hire a personal injury attorney from Busciglio & Sheridan Law Group, we have the experience and resources to achieve the settlement you deserve for your case.
Call us today at (813) 225-2695 or complete our form to schedule a consultation to discuss your case.
Your Lawyer Reviews the Evidence & Your Medical Records
When you sit down with your personal injury lawyer, they’ll need to thoroughly review every aspect of your car accident and claim. During this process, please know that that your attorney will need to conduct an extensive background investigation and evidence gathering in order to build the strongest case for you. Don’t hold anything back, they should have a complete understanding of the auto accident, the injuries you sustained and the treatment you received.
Remember that lawyers don’t like surprises and so will you if any crop up when we’re fighting for your settlement.
After this initial investigation, your lawyer will need to obtain copies of your medical records and all bills relating to the injuries sustained in the accident. If you have a pre-existing medical condition that was impacted by the car accident, they may need medical records related to this condition. Gathering all of this information is a time consuming process and can take months to complete.
Once completed, your personal injury lawyer will review and determine the validity of the claim. If you’re working with one of our lawyers, we will let you know at this point whether you have a valid case or not.
Making Demands, Settling or Filing Suit
A small personal injury claim is usually settled without your lawyer needing to file a lawsuit. If there’s a good chance that the case can be settled quickly for the amount you’re seeking, then your lawyer may send a demand letter to the opposing legal team or insurance carrier.
This type of action will not be taken until after you have completed your medical treatment and you’re as recovered as you’re going to get. It’s important to wait until after treatment has been completed, because otherwise we won’t have an accurate assessment of how much the case is worth.
In a more complex case, we may need to file a lawsuit. For cases involving permanent injury or impairment, a good personal injury attorney will not settle before filing a lawsuit. The filing will not occur until after the client has finished receiving medical treatment for their injuries. This process can take months or even years depending on the complexity of the case.
One other factor that we will take into consideration is the financial stability of the client we are working with. If they need money, then our legal team will push to file the lawsuit as soon as possible.
Filing in Accordance to the Statute of Limitations
Once the lawsuit has been filed, the countdown to the trial starts. Personal injury cases take one to two years to get to trial on average, with pretrial procedures varying from state to state. The lawsuit will also need to be filed in accordance to Florida’s statute of limitations.
Starting the Discovery Process
At this point, we begin the discovery portion of the case. The opposing legal team will investigate the our claim and probe for possible weaknesses in the case. Questions and requests for pertinent documents are exchanged and depositions are taken from all credible witnesses. The discovery process can take anywhere from 6 months to a year to complete depending on the complexity of the personal injury case and court deadlines.
Negotiations and Mediation
Once discovery has been completed, we will meet with the opposing sides legal team to discuss the possibilities of agreeing on a settlement. Some cases can be settled without issue once the lawyers are able to meet with each other, but the case may need to go to mediation. At this stage, you and your legal team will meet with the other side in front of a mediator in order to try and reach a settlement.
The Case Goes to Trial
If a settlement can’t reached in mediation, then a trial date will be set for the case. Personal injury trials can be completed within a single day, or they can last for weeks/months. Again this will depend on a variety of factors specific to your case.
Please note that your trial date may be changed and that doesn’t necessarily mean that something bad has taken place. Often, this happens because the judge has a scheduling conflict. Trials get delayed all the time for a plethora of reasons. If you have a good personal injury attorney representing you, then you don’t need to worry.