Why Is My Personal Injury Lawsuit Taking So Long?

If you have ever been a part of a personal injury lawsuit, you have probably found yourself asking “What could be taking so long?” This is a reasonable question. A common misconception is that lawyers are dragging their feet or putting your case on the back burner. However, a number of scheduling factors explain the duration of a personal injury lawsuit and in the majority of the cases there are unavoidable speed bumps presented throughout the legal process. In order for someone to recover damages sought, key elements and rules must be met on each party’s side; therefore, communication, careful preparation and patience are of the essence when involved in a personal injury lawsuit.

Before Your Lawsuit

Before a personal injury lawsuit can be filed, there are a number of steps that need to be taken. Suit is not normally filed until lawyers have had a reasonable amount of time to investigate your personal injury claim. This takes some additional effort on your part. You must be prepared to answer questions and provide your personal injury lawyer with any and all documentation relevant to your claim. After you do your part, your attorney will begin his own investigation, which includes obtaining your medical and billing records, interviewing witnesses and consulting with experts whose opinions may strengthen your case.

After obtaining sufficient evidence that legal matters must be taken to resolve your case, your personal injury lawyer will usually proceed by sending the defendant a demand letter, which states your claim, damages suffered and a monetary demand which must be paid within 30 days or a lawsuit will be filed.

After Suit is Filed

After suit has been filed, the attorneys for each party communicate with their clients and among each other to come up with a schedule of deadlines for all of the appropriate steps in the legal process. These deadlines can be anywhere from 30 days apart to 90 days apart, depending on the specifics of the case.

Generally, one phase will be the lengthy process of discovery.Discovery entails the exchange of evidence among the parties in order to learn about the claims involved.During the discovery process, the lawyers have the opportunity to speak under oath to expert witnesses from the opposing side in a formal setting with both parties present, which is called a deposition. The deposition is recorded, documented and forwarded to each party. Depending on the amount of witnesses and the services received, among other factors, this process could take anywhere from a week to months.

Another contributing factor to an extensive lawsuit is filing motions. Personal injury lawyers may file motions to the court for anything from dismissing the case to requesting certain evidence to be produced. Motions need time to be filed and for the court to make a decision on the request.

You may be surprised to know that the proper handling of your case by your personal injury lawyer will most likely lead to you avoiding trial and settling your case before a trial date is event set. Some cases do not end up going to trial because the case settles either through court-mandated mediation or settlement conferences. Mediation is a formal settlement conference that involves the attorneys representing each party, both parties represented and a mediator.

Delays in Your Trial

If your mediation is not successful in achieving a settlement, the court will proceed in scheduling your trial date. Considering the fact that criminal cases take precedence over civil cases in court (there is no right to a speedy trial by jury for civil cases), a trial may not take place until several months after a failed settlement attempt.

It is important to keep in mind that although you have been given a trial date, it is very likely that is will change. If the case presented before yours runs past the allotted time, your trial may be rescheduled. When you actually do get to present your case to the court in trial, it is possible that it may drag on for day or even weeks due to various factors.

“Good Things Come to Those Who Wait”

Personal injury victims seek immediate justice for their damages; unfortunately, there is really no proper means of avoiding scheduling issues in a lawsuit.Proper procedures must be taken during a Bronx personal injury lawsuit from a legal aspect that often cause lawsuits to take so long. However, it is imperative to remember that most of these delays are not your personal injury attorney’s fault. Each step taken before and during a lawsuit by your lawyer ultimately prepares your case for a clear and strong presentation in trial, which is essential in order for justice to prevail.

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