Personal injury case timeline
If you think that you may have a personal injury case, you’re naturally going to have some questions about the process. How long will it take? How much will it cost? What will the outcome be?
Every case is different, but all personal injury cases have some steps in common. A personal injury case timeline can illustrate how a typical personal injury case progresses.
The steps you need to take
The first step that you should take if you’ve been injured as a result of negligence or an intentional act on the part of another is to seek medical attention for your injuries. If you delay seeing a doctor and getting treated for you injuries, this could hurt your chances when it comes to a negotiated settlement or a positive outcome from a jury trial.
Finding a lawyer is the next step in the process. In general, if you’re out of work more than a few days, if you’ve broken a bone or had other significant injuries, or if your medical bills add up to more than a few thousand dollars, you should hire a attorney.
The first thing that your attorney will do is conduct an investigation which includes interviewing you about the accident, gathering information about your background, medical condition, and medical treatment. He or she will also collect and review all of your medical records and bills that relate to the treatment you’ve received as a result of your injury. When this case review is completed, your attorney will decide if you have a possible case.
If so, your attorney will enter into a negotiations with the defendant’s attorney or insurance company concerning a settlement. If the settlement is not an acceptable amount or if your claim involves a permanent injury or impairment, he or she will recommend filing a lawsuit.
The discovery process comes next and is the procedure in which each party involved in the case conducts an investigation into their adversary’s legal claims and defenses. This involves an exchange of documents and taking depositions of all relevant parties. Discovery can last for 6 months to a year.
Once the discovery process ends, both sides will usually start negotiations about a settlement, but, in some cases, it will go to mediation if they can’t resolve the case on their own. If talks break down or mediation fails, the case is then scheduled for a trial which can last a day, a week, or even longer. However, even if a trial is scheduled, there’s a good chance that it may be cancelled and rescheduled which adds more time to resolving your case.
Rapid City attorneys, Greg Yates and Michael Shubeck, have experience in negotiating settlements as well as litigating personal injury cases. They are both very familiar with personal injury laws in South Dakota.
During your first visit to our office, we’ll take your through the personal injury case timeline, step by step, discussing all aspects of your case as well as the costs and fees involved.
Contact our offices to schedule your free consultation.