How long does it take to file a lawsuit? How long is my personal injury case going to take?

It is hard to predict how long it will take to settle your personal injury claim. It could take anywhere from weeks to years.

The amount of time depends on your particular case, and whether you settle or choose to file a lawsuit. Although accepting a settlement will resolve your case faster, you may not receive the compensation that you deserve.

Settling a Personal Injury Lawsuit

If you are injured and notify the party at fault and their insurance company, you will likely receive a settlement offer. That offer is generally the beginning of negotiations.

You do not have to accept the offer. You can make a counteroffer of the amount that you believe you should receive.  This process may take weeks or months. If the insurance company refuses to settle for the amount that you feel you deserve, you may file a lawsuit.

Keep in mind that Texas law only gives you two years to file a personal injury lawsuit. The two years starts from the moment you knew you were injured. This is known as a statute of limitations. If you do not file a lawsuit for your injuries before that two years is up, you cannot sue for compensation for your damages.

A Personal Injury Lawsuit Has Various Stages

Once you file a lawsuit, there’s a process that must be followed.

The Discovery Process in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

The first step of a personal injury lawsuit is called discovery. Discovery involves the attorneys from both sides sharing its evidence with the other. For example:

  • Providing documents like medical expenses and income statements.
  • Holding recorded meetings with involved parties and witnesses.
  • Interviewing doctors that can give an opinion about your injuries.

During the above process, the judge may ask the parties to try to settle the case. If it can’t be settled, a trial will be held. 

The trial process in a Texas personal injury lawsuit usually involves:

The trial process is when both sides present their case.

Each side offers evidence to a factfinder (a judge or jury) who decides what actually happened.

A judge decides what the law says should happen based on those facts.

The trial process involves:

  • Selecting a jury (known as a voir dire);
  • Each side’s attorney makes opening statements
  • Attorneys present proofs and questioning witnesses
  • Each side’s attorney makes closing statements
  • A judge gives legal instructions to the jury
  • The jury discusses all the evidence and statements and makes a decision

Going to trial is a lengthy process that could take years. That is why many injured people choose to settle. But even if you settle, you may want to be represented by an Texas personal injury attorney.

If you’ve been injured, call Justinian and Associates today for a free consultation.