No two personal injury cases are exactly the same. Some complex cases can be settled rather quickly, while in other cases what appears to be a very minor automobile accident case may drag on for years. In most cases, however, there are some standard steps that must be met for the case to go forward.
The first step is for the injured accident victim to choose an attorney to help with the case. The accident victim may choose to handle the case on his or her own, but in most cases will hire an attorney. After the attorney is hired, he or she will begin to gather documentation related to the accident, including police reports, medical bills, medical records, and other documentation.
After the attorney has reviewed the documentation, he or she will file a lawsuit if there is a strong case. In many cases, the lawsuit may not be filed until after the victim has had a chance to recover as much as possible from the injuries, so that the full extent of damages is known before the case begins.
Once the lawsuit begins, there is a discovery period during which both sides have a chance to investigate the other side’s case. Evidence is gathered during the discovery period, including documentation, and depositions may be taken. It’s common for cases to settle during the discovery period.
If the case is not settled, it goes to trial. The trial could last for a day or less, or could take weeks or even months, depending upon how complex the case is. When the trial is over, the judge or jury will announce a verdict. Both sides could choose to appeal after the verdict is handed down.
As I said, every case is different, so it’s tough to guess exactly how long any one case will take. If you would like to talk more about your legal options in a personal injury case, call me, Conal Doyle, Los Angeles personal injury attorney, at 310-385-0567. My team can help. Call today to learn more or to schedule a free consultation.