It’s important to appreciate that lawsuits aren’t won in court in record time through an expedited process, or settled out of court like in a single 44-minute episode of TV. In other words, in a world away from neatly plotted dramas and reality TV, getting justice for a personal injury case requires considerable time.
A personal injury lawsuit can take a few months to several years to play out. It could end up in court eventually, or once a filing has been made, the defendant could pursue a settlement to avoid a drawn-out and costly legal battle. How long? It’s the ultimate – it depends.
To give you a clearer sense of how to think about personal injury cases, we provide some guidance below.
Medical Treatment Following an Injury
Any good law firm like Horst Shewmaker will advise their clients to get seen for medical purposes as soon as possible. Not only is it sensible from a health standpoint to avoid a situation becoming worse through inaction, but it also has evidentiary value too.
The reality is that if a medical condition isn’t causing enough discomfort or other inconvenience to bother seeing a medical professional about it, a reasonable argument can be made that it’s not that serious. Or worse still, that it’s been fabricated.
When looking to pursue a legal case for personal injury, law firms including Horst Shewmaker must necessarily start with medical proof. It leaves far less doubt about whether the injury has a factual basis.
Does the Injury Originate from Working for the Company?
Now, whether the medical issue or injury can be directly and fairly attributed to working for the company is another matter entirely. That’s often for the lawyers to debate and call on experts to give their opinion, should the matter ever get to court.
Cases are sometimes more clear-cut when an injury occurred at the premise. However, the defendants can argue that the employee was negligent. Other injuries are less directly attributed to a single accident, such as repetitive strain injuries, where it can be argued that many employers who employed the affected person could have been a contributory factor in the medical diagnosis.
As a result of complications and difficulties in establishing specifics, cases can require more time to negotiate. If they do go to court, they will usually be given six months to find the evidence they need to go forward. Therefore, a settlement is often faster than going through the complete court process to reach a verdict.
How Many Compensation Cases Reach the Court Room?
It varies from state to state but typically, only 5 percent of cases are prosecuted fully in court.
Some cases are filed to initiate the lawsuit, but that doesn’t mean that they will go through the full proceedings. It’s more likely that they will be settled and that such a filing creates a sense of urgency to come to the negotiating table to resolve the matter.
In conclusion, personal injury cases aren’t usually resolved in a matter of weeks or a couple of months. An expectation of 1-3 years would be a more typical and realistic timeline.