How Long Does a Personal Injury Lawsuit Take?
How long a personal injury lawsuit takes from filing to completion depends on the circumstances surrounding the case. On the shorter side, these cases are resolved within eight months, but it is not unusual for personal injury cases to take 2.5 years or more for resolution.
A Pittsburgh personal injury lawyer at our firm will fight for your rights so that you may receive the maximum compensation.
Personal injury and recovery
There is no way to tell how long a case will take until the victim has recovered. That does not necessarily mean how long it takes for the individual to return to their pre-injury state, because that will not happen for many people.
However, there does come a point where it is unlikely that a seriously injured person will experience further recovery. That point is known as maximum medical improvement.
It is only when maximum medical improvement is reached that a lawyer knows how much the case is worth. There are situations where the plaintiff is desperate for money after a serious injury, and the attorney may file the lawsuit earlier than they would like– because the client needs the funds.
Personal injury timeline
Although the types of personal injuries run the gamut, the timeline always begins on the date of the accident. Depending on the nature of the injury, the person may initially undergo conservative treatment, which could last between one month and one year.
Some injuries require aggressive treatment, and that timeline may extend from two to six months. If a person undergoes surgery, maximum medical improvement may not occur for six months to a year or more.
When it is reached, the attorney will negotiate with the insurance company. This process often takes one to two months.
Fair Settlement Offer
If the insurer fails to agree to a fair settlement offer, the next step is filing a lawsuit. This means the case goes to trial, with a waiting period of one to three years.
Even if you receive a jury verdict in the trial, awarding compensation, it is not necessarily the end of the matter. The defendant has the right to appeal the verdict, and the appellate process can take up to two years.
Keep in mind that a catastrophic injury, in which the victim suffers permanent impairment and will need ongoing care, will take longer to settle than an injury in which the person recovers to their “normal” state. The higher the value of the case, the longer you can expect the process to take.
When the value of the case is under $10,000, it will likely settle within eight to nine months. A catastrophic injury case, in which the value may prove $1 million or more, could take over three years.
When a case is finally settled, it may take a month or more until the funds are available to the plaintiff.
Other Factors Affecting Settlement
Rarely, the insurance company representing a defendant in this type of lawsuit will agree to pay the amount initially requested. Many insurers will go to great lengths to minimize the extent of the injuries, or even allege they did not occur due to the defendant’s actions.
Statute of limitations
While it is not possible to predict just how long a lawsuit takes until a settlement or verdict is reached– how long a plaintiff has to file is set in stone via the Pennsylvania statute of limitations. Failure to file the lawsuit within two years means it cannot go forward in court.
There are exceptions to this timeframe, but they are shorter, not longer. If any government agency is involved, from the local to the federal level, claims generally require filing within six months.
Contact a Pittsburgh personal injury lawyer
If you or someone you know suffered a serious injury because of another party’s negligence, a dedicated Chaffin Luhana Pittsburgh catastrophic injury attorney will explain the steps and timeline for the filing of a lawsuit. Obtain a free consultation by calling or texting 24/7 or contacting us online.
Our experienced attorneys have recovered over $1 billion in verdicts and settlements for clients. In addition, we provide a caring, compassionate, and experienced team that is available to you 24/7. Because we work on a contingency basis, there is no fee unless we obtain a settlement or verdict.