The Timeline of a Personal Injury Case
After you have received an injury because of the negligence of someone else you can (and should) seek compensation for your damages and losses. The process to receiving compensation can be a long process and won’t happen overnight. So, how long is the timeline of a personal injury case? Keep reading to learn more about the timeline to receiving the compensation you deserve.
What is Considered a Personal Injury?
Typically personal injuries come after a slip and fall accident, a car accident, truck accident, medical malpractice, etc. Additionally, there are several injuries that can come out of a personal injury claim. You could have a minor injury or a major injury. A minor injury is one that you can recover from quickly (but that will still cost time and money -that you should fight to recover) or you could have a life altering injury like a traumatic brain injury (TBI). No matter how minor or severe your injury is, you should consult with a Personal Injury Lawyer. After an accident, being stuck with thousands of dollars in medical bills and lost wages is never a desirable outcome. If your accident was caused by someone else’s negligence then why should you have to suffer both physically and financially?
A Timeline to Your Personal Injury Case
A personal injury case and the time commitment can feel overwhelming and daunting. Understandably so. We aren’t going to tell you it’s not, it can be. However, the more knowledge you have, the process can seem a little less stressful. Hiring a personal injury lawyer is also extremely beneficial. They can take on a lot of the stress for you, so you can focus on rest and recovery.
It can be helpful to visualize the step of a personal injury case —from accident to trial—in the format of a timeline. The graphic above will show you steps from start to finish. But, it is important to know, not all of these steps will apply to every personal injury case.
The Timeline of a Personal Injury Case
Being injured from a car accident, truck accident, slip and fall accident, etc. is never ideal. Nobody likes this outcome, but as soon as you have been injured because of someone else’s negligence you should start to consider filing a personal injury claim. Before doing anything you will want to seek medical treatment as soon as possible.
Immediately after your accident it is natural to experience a rush of adrenaline. Your body is in shock and this is it’s natural way of eliminating your pain. Don’t let this fool you into thinking you are completely fine. You will likely feel more of the extent of your injuries the next day.
Seeking medical treatment after you have been injured is the most important part of your case. Even if you do not think you are injured, you should still be seen by a medical professional right away. You will want to seek medical treatment as soon as possible, at least within 48 hours. Keep in mind that not all injuries are apparent right away and there are delayed injuries that can come, so a follow up appointment is not a bad idea.
Hire a Personal Injury Attorney
Hiring a personal injury attorney is also one of the most important steps in your case. A personal injury lawyer is knowledgeable and an expert in dealing with cases where someone has been injured. They can take the stress off of you and complete most of the work for you. Keep in mind, most personal injury lawyers, like the ones at B|B Law Group, will not get paid until you receive compensation. If you don’t receive any compensation, they won’t get paid.
Investigating your injury and the events that lead to the injury is important. During this step you will need evidence supporting your claim. Things like photos and witness testimonials are extremely important to have. The investigation after a car accident is a little more straight forward than after say a slip and fall accident. No matter what kind of accident you were in, it is important to have as much evidence as you can to support your claim.
During this step your personal injury lawyer will interview you and make sure to stay on top of your medical records, etc. Additionally, good personal injury attorneys will help you through the process and ensure you are getting the medical treatment you need despite your ability to pay.
File a Claim
Filing a claim can be done with or without a lawyer. But, considering claimants typically receive 3.5 times more compensation with a lawyer, it only makes sense to use a lawyer during this process. Your claim will be filed with the insurance company of the person (or business) that caused your injury through negligence.
Many personal injury cases are settled before they ever reach a court. This is a good thing in some circumstances, and not so in others. Our goal is to get you the compensation you deserve. If this number can not be reached in settlement with the insurance company, that is when you will move into a lawsuit.
If a settlement with the insurance company cannot be reached—mostly likely because they will not pay what the case is worth—it is time to file a personal injury lawsuit. Under California Statute, a personal injury lawsuit must be filed within two (2) years (there are a few exceptions – minor, governmental entity, medical malpractice) of the injury or accident. That being said, the sooner you file a claim, the better.
During the discovery phase each party will start to investigate the other parties claims and defenses are. The other party will being to investigate your claim. Including your medical treatment. A good personal injury lawyer will walk you hand in hand during this step and help you navigate these complexities.
At this point, a process called mediation will most likely be attempted. Mediation is a process in which the clients and the lawyers meet with a both-party-approved mediator to help them reach an agreeable settlement. In an ideal world, if a settlement could not be agreed upon before the lawsuit was filed, then both parties would agree to a settlement at this phase to avoid having to go to trial.
Personal Injury Case Trial
A trial will only happen if a settlement cannot be reaching using all of the above options. If you and the opposing party can not come to a settlement, your personal injury case will go to trial. Trials in personal injury can range from hours to months. Needless to say, a trial isn’t ideal, but your attorney feels as if you are not getting the compensation you deserve it may happen. At the trial, all of the information that has been gathered during the timeline of your case will be presented to a jury for them to decide on what settlement amount you should receive.
As you can see, the timeline can be long. But, with the help of a great personal injury lawyer, like the ones at B|B Law Group, a lot of the stress will be taken away from you. You can focus on rest and recover, while we fight for the compensation you deserve.
Contact a Top Rated Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, we can help. The Lawyers at B|B Law Group are experienced in personal injury lawsuits. We offer free consultations and would love to talk to you more about your injuries. Contact us today.
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At B|B Law Group, our goal is simple: preserve and protect the legal rights of the people of Southern California. Our award winning team of attorneys are experienced in the fields of personal injury, employment and habitability law, and it is our mission to provide our clients with the best legal representation.
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