The amount of time it takes for you to recover money for an auto accident depends on a number of factors that are unique to your case. Sometimes your case will be settled within weeks, other times resolution may take months or even years.
Generally speaking, the more complex a case is the longer it will take to be resolved.
As soon as you contact Thomas J. Henry, your attorney will begin taking steps to preserve and gather evidence for your case. This may include filing a temporary restraining order, obtaining witness statements, gathering photographs of the accident, and reviewing official reports. The goal is to gather whatever evidence is necessary to verify how the accident happened and establish who was at fault.
Your attorney will also request information from your doctor concerning your injuries. Once your physical condition is considered to be stable, your attorney can begin assembling medical reports, records, and bills. They will also seek out employment records in order to evaluate damages related to lost wages and loss of earning potential.
Once all available evidence of your accident, injuries, and damages has been obtained and thoroughly reviewed, your attorney may begin to solicit an offer from the insurance company involved.
Generally, settlement discussions will not begin until both your attorney and the defense’s attorney have completed their pretrial investigations and the discovery process. During discovery, attorneys on both sides of the docket may solicit written answers from the opposition, known as interrogatories, or request sworn testimony under oath, known as depositions. It is rare for insurance companies to engage in serious settlement negotiations before completing the discovery process.
If your case is particularly complex or deals with a commercial trucking company, the defense may wait for your attorney to identify their expert witnesses before discussing settlement amounts. This is because expert witnesses can make or break a case. If a personal injury attorney is able to obtain expert witnesses who are knowledgeable and capable of providing compelling testimony, chances are the attorney has done the work necessary to make a valid case during trial.
In other cases, the defense attorney will not want to settle a case until they have filed a motion for summary judgment, also known as a motion to dismiss the case. If the court grants the motion to dismiss, it means the case is over; however, if the court denies the motion, a good personal injury attorney will see this as a potential point of leverage in future negotiations.
If your case goes to trial, then you and your attorney need to be ready to fight the long fight. If you have hired a competent attorney, then they will have already gathered the evidence and witness testimony to prove your claim before a jury or judge.
It is important to understand that trials take time – as such, patience is key. While there is little that can be done to speed up the litigation process, there are ways to use this time to your advantage. While your case is pending, your attorney will coach you on court room procedures and how to handle questioning and cross-examination. They will also continue to review evidence for new opportunities to improve your claim to compensation.
Thomas J. Henry has been successfully trying cases against large companies for the past 30 years and has built a reputation by securing record-breaking jury verdicts. With a team of more than 100 attorneys ready to represent injured clients at a moment’s notice, we have the money and the resources to fight and win against even the largest trucking and insurance companies.