How Long Does It Take to Settle a Personal Injury Case in California?
Personal injury can occur when you least expect it. Whether you are in an automotive accident, suffer a workplace injury, or experience a slip-and-fall, you might be wondering about the process of settling a personal injury case in the State of California. While there are many different ways a case can be settled, both in and out of court, here is some important information for you to keep in mind when exploring the different aspects of your personal injury case.
Defining Personal Injury Cases
Any case in which an individual or group of people are harmed or injured constitutes a personal injury. These cases can come as a result of car accidents, medical malfeasance, or even work-related complications, but there are a variety of personal injury cases that do not fit into these categories. Your attorney will be able to help you determine the best course of action once they understand what kind of personal injury case you are presenting.
Important Steps for Filing Personal Injury Cases
Submitting your case to the court isn’t a quick process. It requires you to keep extensive records of anything related to the case, including physician’s notes, visual proof of the incident (such as photos or video), or an accident report from the police officer who arrived at the scene. Before you take the next step with your case, the following are some important steps for you to remember when you are filing:
Find Medical Treatment
If you have been injured in an accident, your priority should be your health. Seeking treatment for physical complications resulting from the accident can help ensure that you have not sustained any lasting damage. Some ailments, such as muscular tension, whiplash, and concussions, may not show symptoms right away. Be sure to store any records from your medical treatment that relate to your case.
You will want to obtain as much evidence from the scene as possible, including photographs and videos. If you have the ability to gather testimony from eyewitnesses to the event, be sure to take down their contact information so you can reach them in the future. If you are physically unable to obtain photos of the accident, enlist the help of a police officer at the scene or someone close to you who will be able to send the photo and video evidence to you.
Contact the Right Attorney
When filing a personal injury case, it is a good idea to invest some time into researching an experienced attorney. Having an attorney at your side will help you feel more comfortable with the process overall, and you will have their assistance every step of the way. You will want to hire an attorney who has worked closely with personal injury cases in California rather than a lawyer with no experience in that field.
Claim Reviews and Investigations
While your lawyer is pouring over your case, you might find yourself being interviewed by lawyers on both sides. This interview process exists simply to obtain your side of the story and ensure that both legal teams have all of the necessary information. This will be the time where you can share any and all documentation that you might have accumulated, including medical paperwork, photographs, or physical evidence that might help your case.
Personal Injury Case Negotiation
Some cases, depending on their severity, can be settled out of court with the insurance companies. If this is an option for you and the case you are presenting, your attorney will let you know and give you an idea of what the next steps for that process will be. However, any accident that resulted in permanent or life-altering injury will likely become a lawsuit.
Lawsuits can take longer to bring to court, since many lawyers often wait for their clients to heal completely from their injuries to report your maximum medical improvement. This allows your attorney to have a better understanding of how much was actually spent on your medical treatment, giving them more room to push for a higher level of compensation.
Submitting Your Personal Injury Case
After your lawsuit has officially been filed, you and your attorney can now bring the case to court. This is not something that will happen overnight; many lawsuits can take one to two years in order to reach the courts. Keep the California statute of limitations in mind when filing for your lawsuit to ensure that it does not pass the limited time threshold.
Discovery Process on Both Sides
Now that the lawsuit is out of your hands, the discovery process can begin. This is more in-depth than the interview you previously participated in with the defendant’s legal team. The other team of attorneys will do their best to investigate your claims and legal defenses in order to compare them against the information provided by their client. This gives each team a better idea of the full scope of the accident.
Once the court has scheduled you for trial, there is no way to know how long the case will remain there. With a timeline of anywhere between one day and a few weeks, it’s nearly impossible to determine how long your case will be in court. There is a possibility that the case experiences some delays, and your attorney will be able to fill you in if that happens to occur.
Build Your Personal Injury Case in California Today
Do you need an experienced attorney to help you with your personal injury case? Look no further than the legal minds at Adamson Ahdoot. We are an experienced law team dedicated to helping you and your loved ones seek justice.
Our California-based boutique firm has over 100 years of combined experience. If you’re ready to take the next step in your negligence case, call us now at 877-871-3265 or complete our online contact form to schedule your free consultation and learn more. The lawyers of Adamson Ahdoot are here to help you every step of the way and ensure you get the compensation that you deserve.