How Long Does A Personal Injury Case Take

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A professional lawyer in a formal suit stands in a courtroom, confidently holding a large stopwatch in one hand, indicating a timely settlement after a car accident.
March 5, 2024

Achieving Timely Settlements & Verdicts: The Georgia Personal Injury Timeline

Did the negligence of another cause an accident that injured you or a loved one? You likely have many questions about the legal process and Timeline of a Georgia Personal Injury Case. How long will it take to resolve my personal injury case and receive compensation? What steps can I take to achieve a timely settlement?

We understand the frustration of waiting for justice. You need to understand the personal injury lawsuit timeline, whether you choose to hire a lawyer or represent yourself. Keep reading to learn how an experienced attorney can help you obtain a timely resolution.

The Personal Injury Case Timelines & Claims Process in Georgia

While every personal injury case is unique, most follow the same general steps from accident to settlement. Let’s delve into the personal injury process. This includes an overview of the personal injury claims process, and the anatomy of a personal injury lawsuit:

1. Hire A Lawyer & Determine Fault

The timeline of personal injury laws in Georgia begins the accident of injury itself. Your next step is to interview, vet and hire a personal injury attorney who promptly starts gathering evidence. Your lawyer will collect police reports, photographs, videos, and other documentation to prove liability (i.e. the at fault driver). The legal team will locate and interview witnesses, as needed.

2. Hire A Lawyer & Determine Fault

After an accident, you should ensure you receive prompt medical attention, even if you don’t feel pain. Getting appropriate medical care quickly and consistently per your lawyer’s guidance can make a significant difference in your case. Your legal team will work with you and your doctors to ensure proper treatment, referrals, and documentation.

The length of your medical treatment will depend on your injuries and the prescribed treatment plan. Many lawyers will wait for a client to finish their medical treatment before taking further legal steps. For your case, you will need to work with your accident attorney. Together, you’ll formulate a plan that best suits your unique situation.

3. Collecting Essential Evidence & Records

A key part of building a strong personal injury claim is gathering all relevant documentation and evidence. Your attorney will assemble a comprehensive records collection plan to obtain items like:

  • Medical records,
  • Medical bills,
  • Other expenses related to the injuries;
  • Documentation of lost income and wages;
  • Open records responses;
  • Photographic and video evidence;
  • Witness statements; and much more.

Your lawyer will utilize legal tools like letters, subpoenas and discovery motions to obtain pertinent records. Compiling all this critical evidence lays the foundation for proving and maximizing the value of your personal injury claim. Collecting records should take no more than 30-45 days, on average, from the date of the initial request.

4. Send An Emotionally Compelling Demand Letter

At this stage, your lawyer now understands the full scope of your personal injury insurance claim. Based on the evidence, they will write a demand letter to the insurance companies involved. This demand letters should be an emotionally compelling and factual letter that justifies the monetary settlement requested. This settlement demand reflects the full extent of your losses and the impact on your life.

The goal is to negotiate a settlement that covers all your expenses and compensates you for the ordeal you’ve been through. This letter serves as the foundation for settlement negotiations, aiming to resolve your claim without the need for litigation. You should expect to send a demand letter within 30 days after receiving all records and evidence.

5. Engaging in Settlement Discussions & Negotiations

The next crucial step is engaging in settlement discussions and negotiations with the auto insurance company. This phase involves back-and-forth communication with the insurance adjuster to reach a fair settlement agreement. Your lawyer will leverage the evidence presented in the demand letter to argue for the compensation you deserve.

Negotiations in the car accident settlement process are intricate. They require skillful persuasion and sometimes tough bargaining. This stage is pivotal, as it offers the opportunity to resolve the matter without proceeding to court. The negotiation process should take no more than 30-45 days, absent a legitimate request for additional records or information.

6. File & Serve a Personal Injury Lawsuit

If the insurance company fails to make a fair settlement offer that resolves your case, then your attorney will prepare to file a lawsuit. This starts the litigation process. You have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit to continue your claim.

People commonly refer to this as the Georgia personal injury statute of limitations. Understanding the time limit set by the Georgia statute of limitations is crucial. Otherwise, you many not file your car accident or personal injury lawsuit in a timely manner.

7. Navigating Discovery: Requests, Responses, & Depositions

During discovery, both sides exchange information through requests for documents, interrogatories (written questions), depositions, and more. This helps fully develop the evidence for trial. Discovery can take 6-12 months depending on the case’s complexity.

8. Settlement Negotiations Continue

As the settlement negotiations for your car accident claim progress, the urgency to reach an auto accident settlement grows. Insurers aim to settle strong claims quickly to mitigate the risk of larger verdicts at trial. Parties commonly use mediation as a tool to facilitate negotiations. Navigating the settlement process for a car accident claim demands expertise to ensure a fair auto accident settlement.

The personal injury settlement timeline can vary significantly once your case enters litigation. Determining ‘how long should a personal injury case take to settle’ lacks a straightforward answer. Understanding these elements is crucial for setting realistic expectations about the time it might take to resolve your case. Settlements can occur at any point after litigation starts, sometimes just before or even during a trial.

9. Trial

The case goes to a jury trial if the parties do not reach a settlement agreement. Your attorney will present evidence and argue for your compensation before a judge or jury. A lawsuit rarely proceeds to trial within the first 12 months after filing. However, there are always exceptions to this rule of thumb.

10. Appeal

After trial and judgment, any party can file an appeal challenging the verdict or court procedures. Your lawyer handles the appellate process. Successful appeals often lead to a new trial or settlement.

11. Lien Resolution & Disbursement

After reaching a settlement or receiving a verdict, your legal team must negotiate your medical bills and liens. This phase ensures payment to all parties rightfully claiming a portion of the settlement. Negotiating liens and medical bills requires meticulous attention to detail and negotiation skills. The goal is to reduce the amounts payable, thereby maximizing the client’s portion of the settlement.

This process contributes to why a personal injury lawsuit can last longer than initially expected. It also explains ‘why is my car accident settlement taking so long.’

What Affects the Timeline of a Personal Injury Case?

No one really knows how long a personal injury lawsuit can last. Determining how long does a personal injury settlement take depends on many factors. Strong evidence tends to speeds resolution. Your identity and background as well as that of the opposing party could be another determining factor at play.

For more on how long the injury claim process might take, check out Enjuris’ guide or Nolo’s overview.

Let Our Georgia Personal Injury Lawyers Help You

At Georgia Trial Attorneys, we help injured victims recover compensation, as quickly as possible. Our firm includes veteran trial lawyers along with skilled paralegals and legal assistants handling every aspect of your case. This allows us to provide elite representation while advancing your claim efficiently.

If you have suffered an injury in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, CALL NOW for a free strategy session. We will discuss your situation, rights, and how to win the compensation you deserve. Our dedication to clients has resulted in millions recovered.

Or if you’re asking yourself, ‘why is my lawyer taking so long to settle my case.’ Or if you’ve got questions about the auto accident settlement timeline, we’re happy to help. Start by calling 833-4TheWin or engaging with the online chat to get things moving.

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