When you are injured due to someone else’s negligence, filing a personal injury claim may allow you to recoup financial losses connected to medical costs and an inability to work. Filing such a claim can be an arduous process; however, understanding the steps necessary to complete it may help you feel more confident about the outcome.
- Consider the Details
You may wonder how long it might take to complete a personal injury claim from start to finish, but since no two cases are the same, there is usually no set time span. Generally, it can take up to a year or more, but considering the details of your case may give you some idea of the time you might spend compiling evidence and in court. For example, if the matter of liability or fault is not clear, your case may take longer to resolve.
- Gather Your Paperwork
Before you speak to an attorney, gather your medical bills, police reports, witness accounts and any other evidence connected to your injury. You may want to make copies so you can keep the original documents. An attorney can help you understand which pieces of written evidence will be admissible in court. In some cases, written witness statements may not be accepted and those who saw your accident may have to appear in court to give their account in person.
- Announce Your Intent To Sue
Once an attorney approves your case, he or she will likely draft documents that name the defendants in the case and send out letters to these individuals to let them know of your intent to sue. These defendants usually have up to 30 days to reply. In some cases, you may be offered a settlement in lieu of a court case, and your attorney can assist you with the decision of whether to accept it.
- Attend Court or Arbitration
If your case goes to court, it may take longer to resolve as testimony is presented and the judge and jury hear witness accounts and view the evidence. Arbitration may take less time and you can still have your lawyer present to assist you. While not all personal injury cases reach the court stage, you may want to remember those that do can take over a year to resolve. If you win your case, it can take several months for the settlement check to reach you and your lawyer.
Not all personal injury cases are the same, and some may be resolved faster than others. Reach out to an attorney today, like a personal injury attorney in Scottsdale, AZ, for further information and assistance.
Thank you to the experts at Yearin Law Office for their insight into personal injury and the law.