The length of a car accident lawsuit depends on dozens of factors. More complex cases with multiple cars and multiple parties take a much longer time to get through the court process because each party needs its chance to be heard. Additionally, cases where it is more difficult to determine who was at fault, or cases where both parties were at fault, could take a longer time to research and prepare. Fayetteville car accident lawyer Ken Kieklak discusses the process behind a car accident lawsuit and how long these steps can take. If you were injured in a car crash, contact our law offices today to get a better idea of what your case is worth and how long it will take.
The Car Accident Lawsuit Process and Timing in AR
When you file a lawsuit for car accident injuries, you should be prepared for the case to take a few months. This is average in most cases; some cases do resolve more quickly, but others may also take a year or more to fully resolve.
When you file the lawsuit, your lawyer will file paperwork with the court and the at-fault party declaring the basic facts that prove they were at fault for the crash and that you deserve compensation. These papers will also explain what compensation you deserve. Preparing these documents can take some time, and your attorney will often work on these papers for a few weeks to a few months to ensure you start your case on the strongest footing.
After this, the other parties get a chance to respond and fight the facts. Some parties may even return the documents with a countersuit, claiming instead that you were at fault for the accident. This can take another few weeks to a month and may require multiple rounds of filing and replying.
After the case moves ahead, you will eventually enter the “discovery” stage, where both sides exchange evidence. This means using the court’s subpoena power to get evidence and witness testimony to support your case. This process often takes a few months because it usually involves scheduling and taking depositions from anyone involved. Depositions are meetings where lawyers ask questions as though you are testifying in court and record the testimony for later use when preparing for trial.
After discovery, the case will often move to pretrial conferences and status meetings before moving to trial. At trial, the parties will present their cases before a judge and jury, then the jury will deliberate and decide the case. After all of this preparation, the entire trial will usually only last a few days – if it takes longer than one day. More complex cases can last over a week, but this is uncommon.
Ways to Speed Up a Car Accident Lawsuit
There are multiple ways to shorten your car crash case. One of the best ways to reduce the time your case takes is to accept a settlement or accept payouts through an alternate source (e.g., insurance), but this is not the best decision in every case because it may result in lower damages. Other various methods may reduce the length of the lawsuit without jeopardizing your case.
If you accept a settlement for your claim instead of filing a lawsuit, your case may end faster. However, you may not receive as much compensation through a settlement as you would through a lawsuit. When the at-fault driver or their insurance company offers to settle the case, this means they will pay you what they think is a reasonable value for your injuries rather than waiting for a neutral jury to rule on damages.
Their “reasonable” value might not include damages you could be entitled to in court. An insurance payout or a settlement may not pay 100% of damages for medical expenses and lost wages, instead paying you only a percentage of the money you lost. It may also not include damages for pain and suffering or other harms you suffered.
Taking your case to trial may take a long time, but it often means getting full compensation. A jury can often award you additional damages, like pain and suffering damages, that an insurance company will usually not pay. Though a settlement can include any categories of damages you could receive in court, the settlement may be less than you deserve.
You can usually speed up your case by working with an experienced lawyer. A personal injury lawyer can use their experience to narrow the claims and damages you seek, reducing the extraneous issues in your case. Additionally, your attorney may be able to help you fight an aggressive and strong case that can power through the claim quickly, getting you the compensation you need more quickly.
Our Fayetteville Car Accident Lawyer Offers Free Consultations
If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident, talk to an attorney about filing a claim. Fayetteville AR personal injury lawyer Ken Kieklak represents injured victims and fights to get them the compensation they need. While a personal injury case may take some time, Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, will work to get you the compensation you need in a timely manner. To schedule a free consultation, call (479) 316-0438 today.