During television shows like The People's Court or Judge Judy, a few cases may be decided in half an hour. Unfortunately, those shows are all about entertainment, and they are not representative of real-life court cases. A court case involving personal injury claims can be complex and take up to a couple of years before it is finally resolved. However, every case is different. In some cases, your personal injury attorney may be able to negotiate a fast and satisfactory settlement for you. In other cases, the defendant may not want to give you anything, and your attorney will have to fight for you so that you can get the justice you deserve in a court of law.
Timeline of the Claims Process
Understanding the claims process can help to understand why a claim may last a couple of weeks or be drawn out over a couple of years. There are a number of factors that can determine how your case is ultimately decided. These include the number of parties involved, if the defendants include state or federal government agencies, the seriousness of the injuries involved, and the alleged conduct involved.
There are some things you can do to keep your claim on a reasonable timeline. This includes making sure you contact an attorney as soon as you can, so your claim is filed in time, and the process can officially begin. It is also important for you to communicate with your lawyer, and avoid talking to the defendants or other parties. You should also keep your attorney up to date on any reports or changes in your injuries and how they are affecting the rest of your life. However, it is also important to be patient. Your case may take longer than you initially expect, but the compensation you receive will make it worth your while.
Personal injury cases generally start with the plaintiff seeking out an experienced, local attorney. Your lawyer handling cases in Philly may offer you a free consultation, and agree to take your case on a contingency basis. This means that you do not have to pay anything up front. You will not have to pay anything unless you win your case. This allows everyone to have equal access to the court system.
After you chose your personal injury attorney, they will file your case in the proper court, and serve all relevant parties. This includes filing the complaint, and naming and serving the complaint on the necessary defendants. The defendants then have a chance to respond to the complaint through filing an answer, which your attorney will review and discuss with you. Even though this is the very beginning of the claims process, this is also an early opportunity for the plaintiff and defendant to negotiate a settlement.
Most lawsuits don't end up going to court. Civil lawsuits, including personal injury cases, are usually settled before they ever get to a jury. This occurs through the settlement or negotiation process. As more and more information comes to light through the discovery process, each side will have a better idea of the damages involved. Your attorney will negotiate on your behalf, and seek a settlement agreement from the defendants. However, it is up to you, the client, to decide whether to accept the terms of any settlement agreement. If the settlement terms are agreeable to you, then you can accept the offer, and your case will be settled.
In some cases, the defendants will be very resistant to admitting fault or accepting a settlement. This is where the benefit of an experienced attorney can take your case to trial. The trial process can be long and complex. Depending on the case, it may take a personal injury lawsuit years before a jury finally renders a verdict. After a jury verdict, the defendants may decide to appeal the decision, which can further extend the claim process. This is why it is important to have a dedicated lawyer on your side, who will see your case through until the end, and make sure you get the compensation you deserve.
Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorneys
At Gilman & Bedigian we understand that a personal injury case may be settled quickly or be drawn out over a period of years. We will make sure you are kept informed of the progress of your case, and have the chance to decide whether you want to accept a settlement offer. We also use contingency fee agreements in most of our personal injury cases, so you don't have to pay anything upfront. We do not charge you anything until your case is resolved. If you believe you may have a personal injury case, or if you have questions about how long your claim may take, please contact our office today.