How Long Should My Car Accident Lawsuit Take?
“How long should my car accident lawsuit take?” is one of the most common questions we get asked at JJC Law, right after “How much is my personal injury claim worth?” The answer to both questions is the same: “how long” and “how much” depend on the circumstances in your case.
Your case could be settled within a matter of a few weeks, or it could drag out in court for a year or longer.
Don’t Take the Easy Money
You may choose to just settle with the insurance company after your accident. This is the fastest way to collect money after you’ve been injured. However, doing so too quickly could be a big mistake if you don’t know the full extent of your injuries or how long — if ever — you’ll be well again. The insurance company is hoping you’ll take their first offer. The amount may seem satisfactory at the time, but it may not be enough to cover the total costs of your injury, especially if you require long-term treatment, or can’t return to your previous job.
Do the Smart Thing — Hire a Personal Injury Attorney
The smart thing to do is hire a New Orleans personal injury attorney with extensive experience in car accident litigation. They can help you prove that your injuries were caused by the negligent actions of the other driver and determine how much money you’ll need to fully compensate you for your current and ongoing expenses and losses. It may take a little longer, but the pay-off is usually well worth the wait.
The sooner you speak to an attorney, the sooner you can obtain your compensation. Hiring an attorney right after your car accident will give your lawyer the opportunity to collect evidence and testimony while the case is still fresh.
You don’t want to wait too long. Louisiana has strict statute of limitations laws for filing a personal injury lawsuit in the state. You usually have only one year from the date of your accident in which to file your claim. After that, the court may refuse to hear your case.
The Car Accident Lawsuit Process in Louisiana
Before you’ll be ready to go to court, your lawyer will have to go through the process of discovery — gathering and examining the evidence to build your case. This could take days, weeks, or even months. You’ll have to go through the process — file a complaint, serve the defendant with a copy of the complaint, wait for their response, etc. This could take a while, especially if the defendant makes themselves hard to find.
It usually takes about a year from the time you file your suit until the time you collect your compensation. In complicated or heavily disputed cases, it may take much longer than that to arrive at a verdict. And that might not be the end of the process if the defendant decides to appeal the Court’s decision.
Settling Out of Court Avoids a Lot of Delays
The truth is, most personal injury cases rarely make it to the litigation phase. The vast majority of personal injury lawsuits are settled long before the case is scheduled to go to court. Settling a case out of court saves both sides time and money.
Like a court trial, how long it takes to hammer out a settlement depends on a number of factors. If the defendant’s liability is plain to see — say, the defendant was shown to be speeding and intoxicated when they ran a stoplight and slammed into your car — chances are negotiations aren’t going to take too long and will probably go in your favor. However, in cases where liability may not be clear, or both sides may share liability for the car accident, negotiations can drag on.
We Want You to Get the Biggest Settlement for Your Injuries — No Matter How Long Your Car Accident Lawsuit Takes
The New Orleans car accident attorneys at JJC Law have helped clients in New Orleans and communities all over Southern Louisiana obtain the compensation they deserve after sustaining serious injuries in a car or truck accident. We’ll try to get the insurance company to agree to a fair and honest amount to compensate you for your injuries — but if they won’t, we’re more than willing to take your case to court.
We tell our clients all the time, the extent of your injury and the length of your treatment is totally up to you and your doctor. If you are better in a week, we will do our best to get you the most money we can for that week of pain and suffering. If you take years to recover, we will equally work hard to get you the compensation you deserve. Big or small, we want to help you and your family navigate the confusion that comes after an accident.
Don’t agree to a settlement with an insurance company until you’ve spoken with us. It may be tempting to take their offer, but you will likely regret it later. We’ll fight to get you the biggest settlement possible.
Click here to tell us about your claim or call JJC Law today at (504) 513-8820 to schedule a free, no-obligation, initial consultation to discuss your case. We handle most Louisiana car accident injury cases on a contingency basis, which means there are no up-front costs for our representation and we only collect a fee after we’ve won your case.