When you’ve been injured at the fault of another individual, it is normal to want to seek compensation from the party at fault. Unfortunately, a personal injury case can take time, especially if you elect to go to court rather than coming to a settlement beforehand.
You should understand that any lawsuit is a rather large time commitment and your participation will be necessary in getting compensation for your injuries. For a better understanding of how much time your personal injury case may take, consider the following timeline.
Phase 1: Filing the Lawsuit
If you are still within the statute of limitations for your accident, you can file your lawsuit at any time. While the entire case will be easier to follow if you file immediately following the accident, some injuries or their damages will not appear until a few months down the road.
Preparing to file your lawsuit will take some time and attention. In order to prove to a personal injury attorney that you have a case, you will need to provide evidence, witnesses, documentation of expenses and bills, and more. Gathering information about your case will be entirely your responsibility, although a personal injury attorney can help you better understand what to look for and where you may find it.
Phase 2: Sending of the Demand Package
The demand package in a personal injury case tells the claims adjuster how much compensation you would like to receive from your lawsuit. Through the information you gathered on the accident, you and your legal team will determine which damages are present and how much you should ask for.
While crafting the demand package is a responsibility of the attorney, you will need to partake in the conversations about expenses, damages, and compensation to ensure you’re entirely covered. Not giving your full attention during this phase could result in receiving less compensation than you actually need.
After the demand package is sent, the other party has 30 days to respond.
Phase 3: Negotiation
If the claims adjuster is unwilling to agree to the terms of the demand package, they are able to provide a counter settlement amount. Both parties will continue to go back and forth until a number is agreed upon or it is decided to go to court. Depending on the demands and the negotiating skills of both parties, this could take up to 60 days.
As with the demand package, your attorney should do the negotiating for you, but you will need to be present to discuss if the settlement is something you are willing to agree to. Ultimately, it is your decision to settle or go to court. If you agree to settle, the claims adjuster will send you a check for the agreed upon amount, which you should receive in a week or two.
Phase 4: Trial
While most individuals will choose to settle their personal injury claim outside of court, if you decide that you would like to go to trail, you can expect to give a particularly large time commitment. Not only will you be required to appear in court, but you may not receive a verdict or settlement amount for a year or two after your accident.
In addition to spending time in court, you will need to help your attorneys prepare documents, depositions, and more to better your chances of winning your case. If you should decide to take the case to court, you should expect to spend full days working with your attorneys to develop your case.
Each personal injury claim is different and will require a different time commitment, but recognize that the compensation is yours and yours alone. If you are unwilling to give your case the time and attention that it needs, your personal injury attorney will be less willing to fight to get you the money you deserve.
To ensure you get all that you are entitled to, you should be prepared to give your personal injury case your full attention. Whatever devotion you are willing to give your case, you can expect the same attention from your attorneys
The Lamber Goodnow personal injury attorneys and our co-counsel attorneys in Chicago are experienced in all facets of the legal process. Our Chicago personal injury lawyers never charge a fee, unless we win your case. Get a risk free consultation today.