Even though many personal injury trials only take a few days or weeks, it could take years for your case to get to that point because of the time spent trying to negotiate a settlement and prepare for trial. Also, the court might have a lengthy backlog of cases, which means that you might have to wait many months or longer for the court to have an available trial slot.
This blog will discuss in more detail that personal injury lawsuits can take years to resolve – and here’s why. A New Jersey personal injury attorney can help keep your case on track to handle your claim against the negligent party who caused your injury.
Medical Treatment Can Take Time
There are risks to settling your personal injury claim before completing your medical treatment, including the following:
- The settlement or jury verdict you receive will be based, in part, on the amount of your economic losses like medical bills and lost wages. Lower medical bills usually mean lower settlements or jury verdicts.
- You might need additional medical intervention if the initial treatment regimen does not achieve complete healing of your wounds. If you settle before you discover this fact, you will likely have to pay for the additional treatment yourself because the defendant will not be liable for medical bills not included in the settlement.
- You might have residual disability or impairment that you discover after completing the original round of treatment. Your settlement will not include the financial value of this loss if you do not know about its existence at the time of settlement.
Medical treatment for severe injuries can take many months or even years. Your lawyer might need to file a lawsuit to protect your right to seek compensation for your injuries or other losses to give you the time to complete your medical treatment.
Every state limits the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit. If the filing deadline, also called the statute of limitations, passes before you file a lawsuit, the law can forever bar you from doing so later.
Most personal injury claims are settled, even those for which the injured person files a lawsuit. Negotiations can take weeks or months, even after you complete your medical treatment. As the lawyers prepare the case for trial, they often continue to negotiate as they learn more information about causation, medical intervention, residual disability, and other relevant factors.
The time spent preparing a case for trial can take a year or longer. The attorneys might take depositions, exchange interrogatories and requests for the production of documents, gather evidence, and do other intense activities to prepare the case for trial.
Getting a Trial Date
After the parties let the judge know that they are ready to go to trial, they have to wait their turn for an opening in the court’s trial calendar. Often, litigants have to wait months or longer for a trial setting. Even then, many trials get continued, meaning that they get rescheduled for a later date.
Let’s say that your case finally went to trial, and the jury reached a verdict. Either the plaintiff or the defendant can file an appeal if they are unhappy with the outcome and they have grounds for appeal. An appeal can add months or years to the final resolution of a personal injury lawsuit.
The attorneys at Nagel Rice are experienced in handling the type of complexities that come with personal injury cases and understand how to navigate them in the quickest way possible. You can talk with one of our New Jersey personal injury attorneys about your case for free. Reach out to our office today for help with your case, we offer a free consultation.