How Long Does it Take to Reach a Settlement After a Lawsuit is Filed?
Car accidents are traumatic events that can be physically and emotionally exhausting. Most of us who have ever been involved in a car accident would prefer to resolve the situation as quickly as possible. That may even be possible for a minor fender-bender. However, with more complicated accidents that involve injuries, damage to property, and significant mental stress, it can take a lot longer. Often it is in your best interest to hire an experienced car accident attorney and file a claim for compensation.The attorneys at Joshi & Patel will use all means possible to resolve your injury claim without filing a lawsuit, but sometimes the insurance company will simply be unreasonable and force us to file a lawsuit to obtain the compensation you deserve.
So how long after a lawsuit is filed will a settlement be reached? Unfortunately, the answer to that question depends on a variety of different factors. The good news is even though the process of reaching a settlement varies based on each unique situation, all cases follow a general set of steps and timeline you can anticipate after filing your lawsuit.
The Car Accident Case Timeline
Knowing the steps involved in a car accident lawsuit will help you to plan and prepare for what comes next. No two cases are alike, which means there isn’t a reliable timeline to reaching a settlement after you file a claim. Some cases could take a few months while others can take as long as a few years, depending on how many of the following steps are required before reaching a settlement;
1. You file a complaint. All car accident cases begin when the victim or family member or attorney acting on the victim’s behalf files a claim with a local court. This officially marks the start of a lawsuit.
2. The defendant answers the complaint. The at-fault party has a predetermined amount of time to answer the complaint and will either admit to the allegations or deny them.
4. Discovery phase starts. Lawyers from both sides of the case investigate the details of the accident.4. The lawsuit enters mediation. A neutral third-party mediates talks between the victim and defendant. The goal of these talks is to reach an agreement, such as a settlement, without going to trial.
If a settlement is not agreed upon, a trial phase is added as a step in this process. Car accidents can typically take as long as one to two years (sometimes more) to complete if they involve all of the listed steps. However, it is unusual to have a settlement require all these steps.
It is more typical for the two parties to reach a settlement. This can happen at any point throughout the litigation process. For example, if new evidence is brought forward during the discovery phase that places irrefutable blame on one party, they may choose to settle rather than continue to push the case to trial. A defendant might even agree to a settlement when they are served the initial complaint in step one. This significantly shortens the length of the case.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident and would like to speak with an experienced car accident attorney at Joshi & Patel.
At Joshi & Patel we offer a free case evaluation, no obligation consultation. Once it has been determined that you have a case, we will work for you on a contingent fee basis. In other words, you don’t pay your personal injury attorney fees up-front. Instead, you sign an agreement to pay us a percentage of your settlement amount. You pay us absolutely nothing unless you recover.
**Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.