Why is Your Personal Injury Case Taking Forever?The problem with many personal injury cases is the time involved not in trial, but before trial. You likely want to wait some time to know the extent of your injuries prior to making an important decision. You will quite often get some early offers, but remember, if they're offering you money now, they may fear the case against them and you might get an even better offer.
Trial itself does take time too. Before we go into that, let's find out the time involved in evaluating your injury.
Doctors and Injuries
Your lawyer is quite important, but so is your doctor. It's the doctor's job to prove your injuries are valid, that you are for example experiencing great pain or clearly cannot work for some time. However, the best medicine for discovering all your ailments is time. In personal injury law, you want to know the full extent of your injuries prior to making a case or accepting offers. If you accept an offer too soon, and find out you have other injuries, you are quite often out of luck.
Typically, a personal injury case begins by going over all evidence. This can take months. It's important for you and your lawyer to come up with proof of your injury and its scope, to find witnesses and experts, and to start considering how much compensation you deserve. Your opponent will likely be working too, and perhaps considering offering you money before going to trial.
This is where both sides are questioned and your statements are recorded. Your lawyer should be helping you prepare correct and truthful answers. Lawyers defend statements for both sides.
The pre-trial is where lawyers earn their money, trying to throw out evidence or sometimes even asking for the case to be thrown out.
The Offers and the Mediation
Also before you go to trial is the mediation, where a neutral third party listens to both sides and tries to see if a settlement agreement is fair. The arbitrator has the power to ask questions, listen to evidence, and decide key issues in the case. This is where most cases are settled. Your lawyer and the defendant's lawyer will quite often agree to a number, and the case will be done. Few cases, especially with clear evidence and proof of fault, go to court, and instead are settled. This saves you an the defendant money on lawyer fees.
If your case goes to trial, it will be in the hands of a judge. In these cases, you can expect some time before the case is closed. The actual trial may only take a few days, but it can drag on. If you have a clear case, it does not mean you necessarily will win in court, but it does mean you'll get offers. The first offers are rarely the best; eventually you will likely get a reasonable offer and settle. In cases where it takes longer, there isn't much you can do. It may just take some time, but the rewards may be more.