How Long Does a Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawsuit Take?
You've been injured in an accident that was not your fault. Your medical bills are piling up, and you haven't worked in months. You're considering filing a personal injury claim. You might be wondering how long your Philadelphia personal injury lawsuit or case will take. The answer is – it depends. Let's take a look at some of the variables that might affect the timeline of your case.
Statute of Limitations in PA
In every state in the US, there is a statute of limitations for filing a claim. That means that you have a deadline for submitting your claim. In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations is two years. The average Philadelphia personal injury lawsuit or case takes anywhere from two months to a year if it is settled out of court. If it goes to trial, it could take one to two years to reach the docket. That might sound like a long time, and it is, especially if you need money badly. But there are good reasons not to hurry things along.
First, Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer in Philadelphia
You might be tempted to file your personal injury claim on your own. By law, you are entitled to do this, but if time is a concern, consider the added time it will take you to learn how to do everything required for this process. Even if you were in perfect health, this would be a challenge. Given that you are not at your performance peak, it is a good idea to let a professional take the reins. Take some time now to interview lawyers and find someone you feel comfortable with and who is honest with you about the strength of your case. Once you have the right lawyer on your team, give your attorney time to build your case.
Build Your Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawsuit or Case
Your attorney will need time to gather information about your accident. These steps include:
- gather documentation – like medical records and the police report
- take photos at the scene – at the same time of day and same conditions as the accident
- interview witnesses
- talk you through your recollection of the events
Once your lawyer has this information, they will file a claim. The other side might take some time to respond. Since personal injury claims come with a ticking clock, some attorneys choose to file a lawsuit at the same time to show the seriousness of the claim. This is likely to elicit a response more quickly.
Get All the Medical Attention You Need
Another variable that might delay your settlement is your medical condition. At the scene of an accident, adrenaline kicks in and can obscure the body's natural pain perception. You might be fooled into thinking you are not hurt, only to find out how serious your injuries are a few days later. Also, many people suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder following an accident. PTSD can cause nightmares, anxiety, weight loss, and substance abuse. The cost of treatment for PTSD – including inpatient recovery and rehabilitation of any nature – should be included in your settlement, so it is best not to hurry until you know how much and the type of care you need.
Let the Lawyers Negotiate
Negotiations take some time – it is in your best interest to be patient while your attorney negotiates the best settlement possible. Insurance companies are never excited to pay out for a claim, even when it is clearly justified. This is where your attorney’s experience will work in your favor. Most personal injury cases end in a settlement. If your attorney thinks the best course of action is to go to trial in a Philadelphia personal injury lawsuit, trust that this is true. It will take longer, but in the end, it will likely be worth the wait.
And Then, You Wait
Once your attorney has built a case, filed a claim, submitted a demand letter, and begun negotiations, there is nothing left for you to do other than wait. If your case goes to trial, there is a six-month period of discovery, during which the attorneys gather their research and prepare. Your time is best used for healing your mind, body, and soul.
If you need money now, there are private financing companies that may give you cash against your personal injury settlement, depending on the nature of your claim.
Speak to a Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorney Today
You may feel overwhelmed in the days immediately following an accident. There is a lot to consider, and you might not be up to handling it. Leave the worry to a professional. The personal injury attorneys at Mattiacci Law care about the outcome of your Philadelphia personal injury lawsuit or case. We make ourselves available at all times of the day and night, so you have someone to talk to about your accident right now. Contact our offices by phone, email, or chat on our website.