Phoenix, AZ – When someone is involved in an accident, they may need to go through a process that can include insurance claims, visits with a lawyer, doctor visits, hospital stays, and time in court. This can vary depending on the facts surrounding the specific accident and how severely the person is injured. Some accident victims may be able to resolve their cases within months, while others can take years. There are a number of different things that account for variations in the timeline of a lawsuit and related matters.
The first steps after an accident
When a victim is involved in a collision, they should contact their insurance provider and the local police immediately afterward. This will be the fastest way to start the insurance claim process and accident investigation. The police will generate a report based on what they find at the scene. This report may also become an important piece of evidence later, because it contains some opinions from traffic police about what may have caused the collision and other basic facts surrounding the incident.
Starting the lawsuit
The accident victim can meet with an attorney shortly after the collision to begin the legal process. All states have some kind of statute of limitations, which generally requires the case to be filed within a few years or less after the collision. If the statute of limitations expires before the case is filed, it cannot be brought at all and the victim will not be able to get compensation through a lawsuit.
Once the client and the lawyer agree on representation, the attorney can file an initial complaint that essentially describes what happened and why the defendant is at fault for the injuries. The defendant has to respond to these allegations, then the parties can start to exchange evidence and information. The discovery process can be one of the longest parts of a civil case because both sides need access to all relevant information before trial.
The timeline for the case
Most personal injury lawsuits that are filed shortly after a collision should be able to resolve with a settlement or a trial date within several months to two years. However, each case is different and certain pretrial issues or complex pieces of information that need to be investigated can make this process longer. It is always better to ask a lawyer for specific advice regarding the timeline for a case than to try to make assumptions.
Getting help from an experienced law firm
There are some lawyers in the Phoenix area who dedicate their careers to helping accident victims and filing personal injury lawsuits. Southwest Injury Law is available to answer questions about bringing a lawsuit and receiving compensation.
Firm contact info:
4425 North 24th St., Ste. 225, Phoenix, AZ 85016