May 10, 2024

How Long Will This Take?

Lawyer explaining case details to a client in an office with a justice scale and gavel on the table.

When it comes to getting you the compensation you deserve, Morgan & Morgan fights tirelessly on your behalf to recover the maximum amount for your injuries. Don’t shoot the messenger, but there’s no easy answer to how long that can take.

When someone is recovering from a serious injury, they don’t need money five or ten years from now—they need it as soon as possible. This means that the duration of a potential lawsuit matters to them.

Unfortunately, it’s impossible to provide a definitive answer to the question of how long a personal injury claim will take to resolve. Every claim comes with its own sets of facts to organize, and circumstances like how busy the courts are can affect a lawsuit’s timeline. But while we can’t give you an exact quote, we can offer a reasonable estimate.

Most personal injury cases take anywhere from a few months to two years to complete. A case is considered complete when you’ve been paid in full by the defendant or their insurer, either in accordance with a settlement agreement or the decision of a court.

 

Factors that influence how long your lawsuit takes

Pre-Litigation Negotiations: Before filing a lawsuit, parties may engage in pre-litigation negotiations to try to resolve the dispute out of court. This can vary in duration depending on the willingness of the parties to reach a settlement and the complexity of the issues involved.

Filing and Response: Once a lawsuit is filed, the defendant typically has a certain period to respond to the complaint. This can range from a few weeks to several months, depending on the jurisdiction and the rules of civil procedure.

Discovery Process: Discovery is the phase of litigation where parties exchange information and evidence relevant to the case. This process can involve requests for documents, written interrogatories, depositions, and other investigative methods. Discovery can be time-consuming and may take several months to complete, particularly in complex cases.

Motion Practice: Parties may file various motions during the litigation process, such as motions to dismiss, motions for summary judgment, or motions to compel discovery. The resolution of these motions can affect the timeline of the case and may require additional time for briefing, argument, and decision by the court.

Trial Preparation: As the trial date approaches, parties engage in trial preparation activities, such as witness preparation, evidence organization, and trial strategy development. This phase can vary in duration depending on the complexity of the case and the readiness of the parties for trial.

Trial: The duration of the trial itself can vary depending on factors such as the number of witnesses, the complexity of the legal issues, and the length of the parties' presentations. Trials can range from a few days to several weeks or even months.

Post-Trial Motions and Appeals: After the trial, parties may file post-trial motions or appeals, which can further prolong the legal process. Appeals can take months or even years to resolve, depending on the appellate court's docket and the complexity of the issues raised.

Overall, the duration of a lawsuit can vary widely depending on the specific circumstances of the case and the actions taken by the parties involved. While some cases may be resolved relatively quickly through settlement or alternative dispute resolution, others may take months or even years to reach a final resolution through litigation. 

 

What Are Quick Cases?

Even the quickest personal injury cases generally take a few months to resolve. Medical bills can pile up fast while you’re recovering from a serious injury, so your personal injury attorney will do everything they can to get you the money you need.

Sometimes, however, certain circumstances can slow down the process a bit. For example, you could find your case delayed by:

  • Questions of fault or other legal factors
  • Court delays or a crowded docket
  • Continuing medical treatment
  • Disputes over coverage
  • A claim involving substantial monetary damages

In some cases, your attorney will be able to bypass these sorts of holdups. More frequently, though, they’ll cause unavoidable delays.

The best way to minimize the duration of a personal injury case is to negotiate a settlement outside the court system. When your attorney negotiates a settlement, it doesn’t have to be approved by the court or go through a complicated claims process. It simply has to be agreed to by the defendant’s insurer.

A negotiated settlement will usually win you more than the insurance company would have offered you through the usual claims process but less than you might have gotten from a jury award. 

It’s a compromise that both sides agree to because it saves time—time that can prove costly to both you and the insurer. Your attorney will ensure that the settlement amount is fair and that it’s paid out as rapidly as the wheels of the insurance bureaucracy machine allow.

 

What Does Settling for Short Money Mean?

If you’re desperate for payment, you might decide to settle quickly for a significantly lower amount than you could get from a jury award or even from prolonged negotiations. This is known as “settling for short money.”

We don’t recommend this option, and we’ll do all we can to help you manage your financial affairs until you can get a fair settlement or jury award. But if you absolutely can’t wait and you’re willing to live with a reduced sum, settling for short money can provide you with payment faster.

 

Get Started Now for Faster Results

The number one impediment to a lawsuit is often the victims themselves, who may wait to file a lawsuit or delay making a decision. When you’re recovering from a serious injury, the last thing you need is a prolonged claims process that continually pushes back your payment date. Morgan & Morgan’s personal injury attorneys can pressure your insurance company to pay fair compensation sooner rather than later.

If you’re considering pursuing legal action against another party or their insurance company for a personal injury claim, contact Morgan and Morgan to get a free case evaluation and a better sense of how long your case will take. Our lawyers can get started on your case right away.