How Long Does a Personal Injury Lawsuit Take in California?

Posted on

The injuries and setbacks you face after a car accident can have a severe impact on your well-being, relationships and career. At The JLF Firm, our team provides legal support throughout Southern California.

Just how long does a personal injury lawsuit take? Our team of personal injury lawyers in Pomona can answer your questions and provide peace of mind.

How Long Do Personal Injury Lawsuits Take?

There is no cut-and-dry answer to how long a personal injury lawsuit will take, but learning about the legal process can let you know what to expect. Once you decide to take legal action, the discovery process will begin. This is when both parties have the opportunity to collect evidence from each other. Using this information, you can determine how to proceed — for example, negotiating an early settlement or going to trial.

So how long does it take for a case to close? It depends on many factors individual to your case, including the following:

  • The extent of your injuries
  • How soon you seek legal counsel
  • The responsiveness of insurance companies

Throughout the process, your lawyer will keep you informed. This information will give you a clearer idea of how long a personal injury lawsuit takes.

What Is the Process of Filing a Personal Injury Claim?

Our team will describe the process of filing a personal injury claim before taking action:

  1. Notification: Your lawyer will inform the other party of your intent to file a personal injury claim. Our team will have you sign paperwork to signify your agreement.
  2. Discovery: A thorough investigation into your accident will follow. Our team will compare incident reports, gather witness statements and assess medical records. You will need to provide documentation from your employer that verifies lost wages.
  3. Negotiation: Once all parties collect evidence and reach a conclusion, negotiation will begin. Your attorney will seek monetary damages on your behalf. Negotiations may go on for some time.
  4. Settlement: A settlement will follow if the other party agrees to the terms your lawyer presents. Your lawyer will need you to sign documents to signify your agreement to close the case. Our team will then issue a check that comes from the settlement proceeds.
  5. Court trial: If both parties cannot reach a settlement that meets your needs, your case will go to trial. Once you file a formal lawsuit, the other party still has a chance to negotiate and settle. If that does not happen, a judge will determine the outcome. 

The legal process may differ depending on your circumstances. Ultimately, the answer to “How long does it take to close a case?” may look different for each situation.

How Long Do Insurance Companies Have to Respond?

Insurance agencies have 30 days to respond to any legal inquiries. Dealing with insurance companies can be inefficient and upsetting at times. The law requires insurance companies to respond to legal inquiries on time. This is a benefit of working with your lawyer to communicate with insurance companies, as sometimes insurance companies request an extension to perform further analysis.

If an insurance company ignores requests from your lawyer, legal consequences may follow. Legal support is critical after a car accident. Our team can prevent lapses in communication that could jeopardize compensation.

What Impacts the Amount of Your Settlement?

Settlement amounts depend on the specific circumstances of your case. In cases of severe impairment, your recovery could take months or years. Permanent disabilities stemming from your accident will have life-altering consequences. You may need ongoing rehabilitation and long-term care. Your career could come to an abrupt halt.

When you consider “How long does a personal injury lawsuit take?” it will depend on the severity of your injuries, as it will take time to determine the financial impact your injuries have on the rest of your life. Other factors that could impact the value of your settlement include the following:

  • Lost wages
  • Witness credibility
  • Recovery duration
  • Medical expenses

Our team can provide you with an estimate of the settlement costs. Negotiations will continue until both parties sign documents agreeing to close the case or it is necessary to take the case to trial.

Which Factors Influence the Time It Takes for a Personal Injury Case to Close?

Legal negotiations can go on for some time. If the opposing party disputes your version of events, you may need to wait longer. You might need continued care if you discover new challenges throughout your recovery. This could disrupt or even halt the progression of your case.

If your case goes to trial, you will need to work around scheduling issues that often arise. Coordinating court dates with both parties and legal counsel will take time. After you file a lawsuit, your trial date may be scheduled for a year out or more. A trial will not be necessary if negotiations resolve your case during preparation. This could shorten the time you wait for your case to close.

Why Patience Is Important in the Legal Process

Now that you have a better sense of how long a personal injury lawsuit takes, you may be tempted to speed up the process. However, if you do not spend adequate time gathering evidence, your case may lack credibility, and key details could fall through the cracks. You could leave things on the table during negotiations that could benefit you.

Rushing through the legal process could prevent you from receiving full compensation. If you do collect a settlement, the amount may be lower than it would have been had you allowed more time. Patience throughout the legal process can optimize the value of your legal counsel.

Why Should You Contact The JLF Firm for Legal Help?

If you ask our team how long a personal injury lawsuit takes, we will do our best to provide a reasonable answer taking all of your personal details into account. At The JLF Firm, our team takes pride in helping you. Contact our legal team today, at 888-341-3071 or online for a free consultation.

Get in touch with us today to get started with your FREE case review. We’re only a call, click, or short drive away.