After being injured in a car accident, you're probably eager to get compensated for your injuries and move on with your life. However, it's often difficult to predict how long it will take to resolve your personal injury claim.
Timeline of a Personal Injury Lawsuit
If you decide to pursue a personal injury lawsuit, here's a brief outline of what you can expect if your case makes it all the way to civil court:
- Immediately after the accident, you seek medical treatment and obtain all recommended follow-up care.
- You hire a personal injury attorney, who will most likely work on a contingency fee basis.
- Your attorney investigates your claim and reviews your medical records. He will review accident reports, interview witnesses, and possibly conduct his own investigation.
- Your attorney, with your approval, will make a demand for settlement to the other driver's insurance company or his attorney. Your attorney will then attempt to negotiate a settlement that meets your specifications.
- If a settlement is not reached, your attorney files a lawsuit—keeping in mind your state's statute of limitations. In Louisiana, you have one year to file a personal injury lawsuit following a car accident.
- Each side investigates the case during the discovery process, and all parties have a chance to review legal claims and defenses. This includes testimony regarding the severity of your injuries as well as whether it's possible you are partially at fault for the accident.
- Mediation and negotiation begins as the attorneys for both sides try to settle the case without involving the judge.
- If the attorneys for the two sides are unable to reach a settlement, the case is scheduled for trial. Depending upon the judge's schedule, the case could be delayed one or more times before the trial actually begins.
The vast majority of personal injury cases do not make it to trial. Most are settled at some point between Step 4 and Step 7 of the timeline listed above.
Have You Been Injured In A Louisiana Car Accident?
If you've been hurt in a car accident you need to speak with an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Alexandria office directly at 318.541.8188 to schedule your free consultation.