How Long Will My PI Case Take to Complete?
If your case is simple enough that your lawyer can get the money you need just by negotiating with insurance companies, but if your injuries are permanent or severe, your case could take years to complete, whether or not it goes to trial.
You might be surprised and relieved when a personal injury lawyer tells you that few personal injury cases go to trial, but that does not mean that all the others are simple and painless to solve. If your injuries are serious, then your lawyer will need to file a lawsuit, or at least take steps toward filing one, in order to get you enough money to cover your past and future medical bills and lost income related to the accident. In order to decide whether it is worthwhile to sue, your lawyer must review your medical records and see whether they clearly indicate that your injuries are because of the accident caused by the defendant’s negligence and not due to some other cause (such as an accident from years earlier or a chronic illness). Then begins the process of demands and negotiations; your lawyer notifies the defendant that they plan to sue and gives the defendant the opportunity to avoid a lawsuit by paying up. Some cases settle at this stage, but the more expensive your injuries, the less likely the defendant is to compensate you for them willingly. If the case does not settle at that phase, your Boca Raton car accident lawyer will take your case to court.
The Waiting Game: Maximum Medical Improvement vs. the Statute of Limitations
In Florida, the statute of limitations (deadline for filing a lawsuit) for car accident cases is four years from the date of the accident. Meanwhile, you should not file a lawsuit until you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI), which means that you finish your treatment for your acute injuries and recover as much as possible. If you file the lawsuit too soon, your lawyer will not know how much money to request because they will not be able to estimate your future medical bills and lost income accurately. This is why people with permanent injuries often file personal injury lawsuits close to the four-year deadline; it is not that they do not need the money sooner.
Plenty of Opportunities to Complete Your Case Before Trial
After you sue, there is a discovery phase where you and the defendant exchange documents, and your lawyers take depositions of people related to the case. Sometimes, during this phase, it becomes obvious that the defendant owes you, and they agree to pay, thus settling the case. After the discovery phase, the parties then go to mediation, where a mediator helps them agree on how much the defendant should pay you. If the parties cannot agree on a settlement amount during mediation, the case goes to trial, and a judge decides how much the defendant must pay you. The trial itself only takes a few days, but it can happen more than four years after the accident.
Contact Ged Lawyers About Personal Injury Lawsuits
A personal injury lawyer can help you recover damages in your personal injury case, with or without going to trial. Contact Ged Lawyers in Boca Raton, Florida to discuss your case.