If you’ve been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you may be considering a personal injury claim. Going into this, it’s essential that you know what to expect from the process and how long it will be. That will enable you to plan and budget accordingly, especially since your medical bills and other expenses may pile up during this time.
Average Length of Personal Injury Claims
According to research from the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) and the U.S. Department of Justice, it takes one to three years on average to resolve a personal injury claim — whether by reaching a settlement or a trial verdict.
The study also found that product liability trials have the longest average processing time (35.1 months). Medical malpractice cases are a close second with 33.2 months.
That said, each claim is different and will turn on the unique circumstances of the case. While you can never know for sure how long your case will take, an experienced personal injury lawyer can provide you with a ballpark estimate.
Factors That Impact the Length of Litigation
Here are some of the variables that could impact the length of the process:
- Severity of injuries. If you only suffered road rash and a sprained ankle, your case will likely resolve quicker than a claim involving traumatic brain injury or paralysis.
- Amount of damages. Expect a speedier resolution in a case worth $20,000 than in a case worth $500,000 million.
- Complexity. Some personal injury cases, like slip-and-fall cases, are relatively simple. Others, such as medical malpractice or product liability cases that involve going against big corporations, tend to be more complex and time consuming.
- Court caseload. Case backlogs vary from court to court. Depending on your jurisdiction, your court dates may be further down the road than you’d like them to be.
- Your patience. If you’re prepared to hold out a little longer, you may be able to negotiate a better settlement. However, if you’re pressed for time or cash, you may choose to settle early for a smaller payout.
Things You Can Do To Speed Up the Process
Once your claim is in motion, there are steps you can take to accelerate the process:
- Show all documents to your attorney. Don’t hold anything back. Bring all medical records, police reports, and any other documentation related to the incident, your injuries, or your medical treatment to your lawyer.
- Help your lawyer out. Your attorney may ask you to provide information or documents that only you can find or access. Be cooperative and do as they say as soon as possible to avoid wasting time.
- Don’t discuss the case. Never speak about your claim with anyone — especially opposing counsel and representatives of the insurance company — unless your lawyer is also present.
Speak to a Maryland Personal Injury Attorney Today
The sooner you file your personal injury claim, the better. At Johnnie Bond Law, our skilled legal team can start building your legal strategy today. Call us at (202) 683-6803 to schedule your free consultation with a personal injury lawyer in Maryland or Washington, D.C.