If you were in a serious car accident, you might be wondering how you are going to afford your medical bills and any other financial issues that may arise after the accident. The length of a car accident lawsuit can vary depending on the severity of the victim’s injury, the circumstances of the accident, and many other factors. If you or a family member was the victim of a car accident, you should speak with an experienced Fayetteville car accident lawyer. Fayetteville AR personal injury lawyer Ken Kieklak, can help you file a car accident lawsuit against a negligent driver. Ken is here to explain how long a car accident lawsuit can take in Arkansas.
Factors that Can Affect the Length of Your Car Accident Case
There are various factors that you must consider before you can begin to estimate how long a car accident case will take. For example, if you are unaware of the extent of your injuries, it will be difficult to ask for compensation that will cover all your expenses. Additionally, the evidence gathered for your case will determine how strong your case is and make it easier or harder to litigate your case.
A car accident case can take a few months to over a year, depending on various factors. You should be aware the factors that can speed up or delay your case. The following list discusses some of these factors that may affect the length of your car accident claim.
The Severity of Your Injuries
A car accident can leave you with a variety of injuries. These injuries may cause you to suffer from long-term or permanent issues. For example, if you are in a car accident and hit your head, you may have suffered a serious brain injury that could cause various health problems. The symptoms from a brain injury could be mild at first, like persistent headaches or a loss of sensation, but they could get worse later. Therefore, it is important to understand the full extent of your injury.
Before filing a car accident lawsuit, you should consult with a doctor who will help you understand the severity of your injury. Understanding your injury and how it will affect your life in the long-term will help you determine the amount of compensation you should request in your lawsuit. You do not want to rush into a case without knowing how severe your injury is.
The Complexity of Your Car Accident Case
The circumstances of your accident will likely determine the complexity of your car accident case. For example, if you are in an accident with a commercial vehicle, there may be several parties involved in the litigation process.
Commercial vehicle accidents usually involve several parties because there are multiple people or companies that could be responsible for your injuries. Not only can the driver of the commercial vehicle be held responsible for the crash, but their employer may be held accountable too. Additionally, if the crash happened because the commercial vehicle malfunctioned, it is possible that the manufacturer of the vehicle or various defective auto parts could be involved in the lawsuit.
These parties will have an interest in avoiding liability for your injuries and may conduct extensive investigations to prevent a lawsuit. Therefore, it is important to be aware of how certain types of car accidents could affect the length of your case.
The Evidence Available for Your Case
If you are in an accident, after securing emergency medical aid for any injured individuals, you should begin gathering evidence. The strength of your evidence will play a role in determining the length of your case. This means that you should gather evidence fresh from the scene that will help your attorney litigate your case.
The first piece of information you should get is the name of the driver, their insurance carrier, license plate number, driver’s license info, and address. If you were involved in a commercial vehicle accident, you should also get the name of the driver’s employer. You should also take pictures of the damage to all vehicles involved, photograph any injuries you received, and document any adverse weather conditions.
Law enforcement should also be called to the scene to produce a police report that can help with your case. Lastly, be sure to inform your insurance company of the accident as soon as possible.
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, AR Car Accident Attorneys Will Fight for You
If you or a family member was involved in a serious car accident, you should consult with an experienced Fayetteville car accident attorney. A serious car accident can completely change your life, but Ken Kieklak is here to fight for you. To schedule a free consultation for your car accident lawsuit, call Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, at (479) 316-0438.