How Long Does a Personal Injury Claim Take?

How Long Does a Personal Injury Claim Take?

how long does a personal injury claim take

Almost 5 thousand Californians died due to serious personal injury in 2021. U.S department of transportation (DOT) provides car accident facts based on statistics. The information they provide reveals a scary reality. Car accidents caused by negligent drivers can ruin a victim's life. To right these wrongs, affected victims can file a personal injury claim and receive compensation. However, the process can take time. Read on to find an answer: how long does a personal injury claim take?


Personal Injury Claim: The Basics

The start of a personal injury claim is discovery. This is when each party exchanges information. This includes interrogatories which are questions from the opposing party. During this time there will be requests for production. This means that one party is requiring the other to provide certain records.

Requests for production could include photographs of the accident or medical records. Next is the request for admission. A request for admission is a request for a written statement about the car accident.

Finally, the deposition is where the parties come together and give a testimony of the events. This does not happen in a courtroom, but a court recorder takes a recording of the meeting. Be aware of what you say as it is a recording that may reappear if a case goes to trial.


How Long Does a Personal Injury Claim Take?

There is no short, finite answer to this question. The truthful answer is that personal injury claims could settle in a few weeks to a few years. According to a recent study, most cases settle in 11.4 months.

Still, a complex personal injury claim requires an accident investigation. Personal injury attorneys dig deep for factual information. For instance, they will look into:

  • A police report of the car accident
  • Date of when you file an insurance claim
  • Witness statements if they are available
  • Photographs you took of the accident
  • Insurance policy
  • Lost wages
  • Medical Records

Medical records are important for detailing the injury from the accident. This is the provable evidence that your injury came from the car accident. As the process continues, you may have to answer questions.

Write down your medical journey to remain clear on important details. Journal your emotions, mental health, and physical injury. Studies show that pain and suffering is a major reaction following a car accident. This includes physical and mental anguish. Therefore, pain and suffering can be compensated.


How Can the Length of a Personal Injury Claim Be Shorter?

Hiring a personal injury attorney is the best way to shorten a personal injury claim. Your attorney will keep track of deadlines, and do the necessary paperwork for you. They will collect information from you and request documents for accident investigation.

During the discovery phase, attorneys will act right away in your best interest. The discovery phase will take at least thirty days. We know this because each party has 30 days to produce any request for records or information. Then, there are other time factors:

  • How long does it take the other party to respond?
  • Does the other party even respond? Without a response from the other party, the defendant can motion the court to dismiss the case.
  • Determining who is at fault and liability questions or concerns.

Beyond the discovery phase, there is the settlement negotiation phase. Negotiations are when each party tries to find a fair settlement. If there is no agreement on a settlement, the case will move on to trial in court.


What Are the Risks of a Personal Injury Claim Taking Too Long?

A major concern for taking too long to file a personal injury claim is statutes of limitation. Every state has statutes of limitations for car accident personal injury claims. In the state of California, the time limit to file is two years from the date of the accident.

The statute of limitation also states that if the injury is not known right away, there is an exception. The deadline to file becomes one year from when you discover the injury.

After the deadline passes, you could lose your chance at a settlement. This may make you liable for costs like medical expenses.

Delays That May Occur

Delays may occur that could delay the statute of limitations. This includes when the defendant has a severe mental impairment or is a minor. These delays have the name, "tolling." Tolling could lengthen how long it takes for your case to settle.


Factors That Affect the Length of a Personal Injury Claim

Though brief, we went over average timing and possible delays. But, what are the main factors that determine the length of a personal injury claim? The main factors that determine the length of your personal injury claim are simple. Those factors are as follows:

  • Finding and hiring legal representation
  • Determining liability
  • When you and your attorney proceed into litigation
  • Duration of the discovery phase
  • Duration of settlement negotiations

Determining if you have a complex personal injury claim, can be tricky. Central Valley Accident Lawyers can offer you an expert opinion on your case and how long it will take to reach a settlement.


Find Legal Representation

When considering how long a personal injury claim takes to settle, we want you to feel confident that you have the right answers. If you were injured in a personal injury accident, schedule a free consultation with our law firm to learn how filing a personal injury claim works. Contact us to start discussing your case today.


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