This is a question that we are asked quite often. Unfortunately, there is no single answer. Each case is different and each case will take a different amount of time to reach its conclusion. There are different parts to a personal injury claim. First, following the incident that caused the injury, you will be treated for your injuries. Everyone heals at a different rate. Some injuries require multiple treatment/therapy sessions before you have healed. For example, if you had to have knee surgery, you will have to have numerous physical therapy sessions before your knee is better. That takes time. On the other hand, if your injury was a cut (laceration), your doctor can put in stitches and later remove them. That takes less time than it would take for knee surgery. We must know the extent of your injuries, the type and amount of treatment needed, the amount of time you lose from work, and a number of other factors before we can move forward with negotiating a settlement with the insurance company.
If the insurance company is not willing to settle your case for a reasonable amount, we will have to file a lawsuit on your behalf. Lawsuits take time. The case begins with what is called the discovery phase. How long that phase takes depends on how many facts are in dispute, how many witnesses will be called at trial, how many experts will be used by the parties, how many motions are filed by the parties, and other factors. In some cases, the defense attorney doesn’t conduct much discovery and doesn’t file many motions. In other cases, the defense attorney conducts a huge amount of discovery and files numerous motions. All of that takes time.
Once discovery is completed, the court will set the case for trial. How far away the trial date is set, depends on many factors but mainly depends on the court’s schedule. Some courts have jury trials every month, some have them every other month, some have them only a few times a year. Some judges have larger trial dockets than other judges.
Once the case goes to trial, an appeal may be filed. Appeals can take months and even years before the appellate court makes it decision. Thus, as you can see, it is impossible to state with any accuracy or certainty how long your claim will take before it is resolved. At the Scott Ray Law Firm, we work as diligently as possible to resolve your personal injury claim.