What is the timeline for a personal injury lawsuit?

If you consider suing someone for personal injury, you should think about the time it will take and whether or not it is really worth it

A gavel | personal injury lawsuit concept

When a person is injured in an accident, they will have to deal with a lot of pain and plenty of doctor’s appointments. They might have to miss work, and they are likely to miss important life events as well.

Those things can all take a long time, but a personal injury lawsuit can take even longer. If you consider suing someone for personal injury, you should think about the time it will take and whether or not it is really worth it.

Did you try to file an insurance claim?

When you are injured due to someone else’s negligence, it is natural to want them to pay your medical bills. If you are injured in a car accident in Georgia due to the fault of another person, their liability insurance should pay your bills. If you are injured in a slip and fall accident at a home or business, the business owner’s insurance should cover your injuries. When an accident happens at work, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance should pay your bills.

After an accident, you should go to the doctor and then file an insurance claim. The insurance company will ask you to provide them with certain documentation. An insurance adjuster will review the evidence in the case, and they will either accept or deny your claim.  If they accept your claim, they will make you a settlement offer.

If they deny your claim, you can talk to an attorney about a lawsuit. You should always talk to a lawyer before you accept a settlement offer.

Consult with a lawyer

When you meet with a lawyer, they will ask you questions about your case. They will review your medical records and investigate the facts of the accident. Most attorneys will not charge you for the consultation. They will normally work on a contingency basis if they accept you as a client.

Negotiating with the insurance company

Your attorney will then call the insurance company and try to negotiate a fair settlement offer for you. According to personal injury lawyer Pendergrass, an attorney will send a letter to the insurance company demanding that they pay a certain amount of money. The attorney will then negotiate with the insurance company. If the two parties cannot reach an agreement, your attorney will file a lawsuit.

Filing a personal injury lawsuit

Your attorney will file a lawsuit with the appropriate court. If the amount is under $15,000, they will go to small claims court. If it is higher, the suit will be filed in county or district court. The insurance company will be served with a summons.

The discovery phase

If the insurance company and your attorney cannot reach an agreement, the case will go into a discovery phase. Both sides will do their research and interview witnesses. They will request information from one another and look for additional evidence.

Mediation

Your attorney and the insurance company’s lawyer will meet with a mediator at this point. The mediator is a neutral third party who will try to get both parties to come to an agreement. If they cannot work out a deal, the case will go to trial.

Trial

Your case will be assigned to a judge, and a trial date will be set. Your case may be argued in front of a jury, or it may be a simple bench trial. If a jury decides in your favor, they will then have to decide how much money you should be rewarded.

Personal injury lawsuits take a long time and cost a lot of money, which is why a settlement is always the preferred option.

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