Once you’ve been involved in an accident, suffered an injury, and retained an attorney, your next question is, “How does a personal injury lawsuit take?” It’s a fair question, and there is no easy answer. Your attorney can give you a rough estimate. It will be based on the severity of your injury and whether the other party had insurance. But there is no definite time limit.

The Short Answer: Maybe a Couple of Years

The usual time to resolve a personal injury lawsuit in Texas is about two to three years. Simple cases can sometimes be settled sooner than that. Sometimes in a matter of a few months. Complex cases may take much longer, years or even decades. The average plaintiff (you) can expect a delay of a year or more between the injury’s date and the case’s conclusion.

Why Does It Take So Long?

If you have ever built a house of cards, you will understand why a personal injury case takes so long. All the bottom parts must be in place before any top parts can be added.

The first thing you need to do is get an examination and then treatment for your injury. Most legal claims cannot begin until the patient has reached what insurers call the “maximum medical improvement.” That means the doctor thinks you’re as recovered as you’re likely to get. This is when the attorneys and insurers can determine how much to demand and offer as compensation for your injuries and losses.

In cases where you are more seriously injured, and your treatment is likely ongoing, your attorney will decide when to file a lawsuit is the best time.

Once the attorney has decided to file a lawsuit, they will typically give the insurance company a chance to settle. If the insurer agrees to a complete payout, for instance, if there is no doubt that their client is fully responsible for your injuries, there is no reason to go to court.

What happens after your personal injury lawsuit is filed

After the claim has been filed, things slow down. Once the insurance company has been notified of the lawsuit or “served,” they have a set period to respond, up to 60 days, depending on the nature of the case. In their response, they may agree with the claim, disagree, or make their own claim that you are also responsible for the accident.

Following their response, their attorney and yours begin a process called discovery. During discovery, which can take months or years, the two sides exchange documents about the accident, medical reports, witness statements, and police reports.

The insurance company can ask you to undergo additional medical exams during this time. For you or witnesses to sit for depositions, and other information-gathering sessions. Negotiations will continue between your attorney and the other attorney.

If the parties still cannot agree, the case will go to trial. Your attorney and the insurance company’s attorney will present all the evidence they have collected during discovery to a judge or jury. They will then decide who was most at fault for the accident and who should receive compensation.

After the trial, if one side disagrees with the result, they can appeal the case. That happens if they believe there was a legal flaw in the argument or how the verdict was handled. This can add more time to the resolution of your case.

Why You Need an Attorney

As you can see, the steps involved in a personal injury case are complex. You need an experienced attorney like those at Gibson Hill Personal Injury by your side. It’s easy for the average person to become overwhelmed by the flurry of paperwork and deadlines.

The statute of limitations in Texas is two years from the date of the accident. But you may still be receiving treatment as the date approaches. You can still file your case, and your attorney will advise you on how best to explain the degree of injury and the nature of your treatment.

If a government agency or officer injured you, other steps must be taken to hear your case in court. If your injury occurred long ago, but you are just now experiencing the effects, you may still be able to file a claim under different types of legislation.

For all these reasons, if you have suffered a serious injury due to someone’s negligence, you need the assistance of the legal team at Gibson Hill Personal Injury.  Contact us at 512-580-8334 for a confidential consultation. You have a limited time to file, so call today.

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