5 Factors Affecting a Personal Injury Lawsuit Timeline

personal-injury-law-bookAside from how much their potential settlement may be, personal injury plaintiffs are most concerned about how long their case will take to settle. That’s a hard question for a personal injury attorney in Los Angeles to answer. Pursuing justice and fair compensation requires efforts that take time, with no formula or set deadline for any aspect of the case to be resolved. There are many factors in play, including:

1. The Nature of Your Injuries

The extent and impact of some injuries aren’t known for weeks or months. You won’t often know how much treatment and recovery will cost until you fully heal, stabilize, or have healed as much as you will. Reaching a state of Maximum Medical Improvement is necessary for negotiating a settlement that works for you; and, if you settle early and injuries worsen, you can’t go back and hold the other driver responsible for paying additional damages.

2. The Legal Process

Every personal injury case has a few steps. Going to trial can lengthen the case dramatically. But the first step is to file a compliant against the defendant, preferably with the help of an attorney. It can take a month to find and serve the defendant. Accounts of events from the point of view of both parties are presented during the discovery phase, which includes depositions.

Pre-trial motions are scheduled after all evidence and statements have been put together. Setting a court date can cause delays, especially when scheduling civil cases. A lawsuit can then continue until a settlement is reached, which can happen at any time if it’s clear who is liable, or the case goes to trial, in which a judgement or jury verdict will determine the outcome. However, most cases end through settlement, mediation, or arbitration. 

3. Lack of Cooperation (Defense/Insurance Companies)

The defense counsel and/or the insurance company can take various actions to delay payments, which can slow or even stall the case, especially with larger potential settlement amounts. Insurance firms may prolong action in the hopes a plaintiff will give in and take a lower settlement. Using similar strategies, the defense counsel might be intentionally slow in producing documents and evidence requested by the other party, since their job is to help their client pay little, if anything.

4. Case Complexity

The more liable parties and expert witnesses there are, the more drawn out a case may be. Scheduling and paperwork can mean more time figuring out logistical matters along the way. A complex personal injury lawsuit takes time simply because there are lots of pieces to the puzzle.

5. The Client’s Cooperation

The client must cooperate with every facet of the legal process. Sometimes they inadvertently cause delays. For example, a change of phone number or address can make it hard for an attorney to contact them. A lack of communication can then lead to missing information and missed appointments at a crucial time in the legal process.

No matter how meticulous a client or an attorney is, personal injury lawsuits can take months, even years, to settle. Funding a case or a personal injury victim’s bills, especially if they are out of work, is a challenge that can stall the process. That’s where FCA Legal Funding is most helpful. We provide legal funding in California, which can help you wait for your car accident settlement, plus advances on a future settlement and cash advance refinancing. Call today to speak to an experienced funding specialist or apply online in minutes!

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