How Long Does a Personal Injury Lawsuit Take

Are you preparing to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit in New York? You likely have questions about your case. Chief among them may be, “How long does a personal injury lawsuit take?” The answer varies depending on many factors. What’s most important is to be patient. If you’re too eager to accept a payout, you might agree to a lower settlement than you deserve.

How Long Does a Personal Injury Lawsuit Take to Settle in New York?

There’s no universal answer to the above question. Simple cases take a few weeks to settle, while complex cases can take years. Let’s explore some of the factors that can affect a personal injury case’s timeline.

The Severity of Your Injuries

 The more severe your injuries are, the longer it might take to reach a settlement. Here’s why:

 When seeking compensation, you need to add up all your medical bills and related expenses. The more treatment you require, the longer this will take.

  • Severe injuries may leave you in need of ongoing care. You will need to estimate the cost of this future care before you know whether a settlement is fair.
  • You may be unable to work if your injuries are serious. Thus, you’ll have to account for lost wages when seeking compensation. You may have to estimate the cost of lost earning capacity if you can’t work indefinitely.
  • The more severe the injuries, the more pain and suffering you are likely to endure. You should be compensated for these losses, but assigning a dollar value to a subjective experience is challenging.

The amount of money you may be eligible to receive can also be fairly high in a case involving serious injuries. An insurance company may push back when you’re seeking large compensation. Consequently, negotiations could take some time before they yield a fair result.

The Ease of Proving Liability

The insurance company’s goal isn’t to pay you what you deserve. The insurance company is a business. If an insurer thinks it can avoid paying you, it will try to.

An insurance company might not offer a settlement if you don’t provide strong evidence of their policyholder’s liability. While the insurance company is responsible for investigating and determining the cause of your injuries, you might have to conduct a separate investigation if theirs isn’t thorough enough. The time it takes to gather evidence of liability can add to the length of the process.

How Many Liable Parties There Are

More than one party could be liable in a personal injury case. Depending on the circumstances, this might involve filing separate claims against each liable party, or naming all the liable parties as defendants in a single action. New York law assigns fault on a percentage basis. As such, each liable party is motivated to reduce their percentage and, by extension, the amount of money they owe the victim.

Sorting out liability among multiple defendants can take time, but it can also increase the amount of compensation you can claim.

Witness and Expert Availability

Strengthening your case may involve interviewing witnesses who can speak to the cause of your injuries. You may also benefit from coordinating with experts.

For example, doctors can explain how your injuries provide evidence of their cause. An accident reconstruction professional may demonstrate how an accident occurred.

Securing eyewitnesses and experts to testify in your case can lengthen the settlement timeline. However, their testimony could also improve your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve.

Court Issues

How Long Does a Personal Injury Lawsuit TakeNegotiating an out-of-court settlement with the insurance company is often ideal for several reasons. First and foremost, there’s no guarantee a jury will award damages (the legal term for the money you may receive at a trial). Negotiating a settlement allows you to exercise more control over whether you receive a payout.

That said, filing a lawsuit and going to court may become necessary. For example, you might have to file a lawsuit if the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement. Always review settlement offers carefully. Don’t let an insurer pressure you into accepting a settlement before you’ve had time to evaluate it.

Going to court will take some time, as other people also want their day in court. If the court is backlogged, for example, your trial may not begin for some time.

Be aware that you might continue negotiations as you prepare for trial. Even if you’re going to court, a settlement isn’t necessarily off the table. 

Contact a New York Personal Injury Lawyer

The New York personal injury lawyers with Fusco, Brandenstein & Rada, P.C. believe in keeping our clients informed. If you hire us, we’ll gladly keep you updated about the status of your case. Learn more about what we can do for you by contacting us online or calling us at 516-496-0400 for a free case review.

Categories: Personal Injury

Last Updated : April 19, 2024
Available To Clients 24/7

We know how important it is to reach us when you need us. That’s why we provide 24/7 customer service so you can speak with an experienced legal professional at your convenience.

Request A Free Consultation