The Timeline Of The Average Florida Personal Injury Case
A slip and fall or car accident can really upend a person’s life. For this reason, it’s no wonder why one of the first questions often asked about reaching a settlement is “How long is this going to take?” Every personal injury case is different, so there is no definite answer to this question, but looking at each individual case and comparing it to the typical personal injury case timeline is a good place to start.
When considering your personal injury case, your Florida personal injury attorney will be able to best analyze what you’re dealing with and determine an accurate estimate as it relates to your injuries and your settlement.
The First Steps
The first steps after an accident occur perhaps even before you contact your personal injury attorney. Immediately following a slip and fall or car accident, a person will carry out 2 very important processes – collecting evidence and seeking medical attention. Without doing either of these, your case may not have much of a leg to stand out. Immediate medical attention will accurately determine what injuries you’ve sustained, and your evidence collection will outline just how you received them.
After seeing a medical professional and collecting your evidence, your next step should be contacting your Florida personal injury attorney. With your evidence and medical records in hand, your attorney will look at your case and determine what type of timeline you’re likely to be working with.
Lawsuit Or Settlement
In most cases, your personal injury attorney will work with the insurance companies to reach a settlement through negotiations. In car accident cases, they will be working with your insurance company, in slip and fall cases the insurance company of the negligent property owner. However, settlements cannot always be reached, and in these cases, a lawsuit may need to be filed. This is most common in more serious accidents where personal injury damages are higher.
Pretrial Phase Of A Lawsuit
The pretrial phase is comprised of discovery and motion to find out the most possible information about the case. Attorneys will share all relevant information, and after doing so the court will often provide one last chance to reach a settlement through mediation. Using a mediator, settlements are often reached during pretrial, and in most cases avoid going to trial.
If a settlement is not reached in mediation, the case will, unfortunately, need to go to trial. A trial date will be set by the courts, and a personal injury trial can be settled in a single day, or they can last for months or more. Most often, a car accident or slip and fall will typically resolve in around 3 to 5 days after going to trial. During the trial, you’ll be represented by your personal injury attorney experienced in Florida law.
The losing party in the trial may then choose to appeal the verdict or some issues stemming from the case. This can prolong the trial process even longer.
While the majority of personal injury cases are resolved through negotiations, or through mediation, there are those few that become more complicated. It’s important to be represented by a professional in Florida personal injury law to ensure your case will be successful no matter how long it takes.