Why is my personal injury case taking so long?
Clients may, at times, feel frustrated, at the amount of time that it takes to settle a personal injury case. We find that communicating with our clients, and educating them on the process is a great assistance to them in knowing what to expect throughout their case. Each case is different. Some settle quickly, some could take years to complete. What one should keep in mind is that once a settlement is reached or a verdict given, you can not go back later and ask for more if the injury is worse than expected. For this reason, you want your attorney to act with thoroughness rather than haste.
There are several steps in the process of a personal injury case. The Discovery period, is where each side finds out information about the others case. Lawyers from each side exchange statements of facts regarding who was involved, details of the incident, and witnesses. Establishing the full extent of injuries can also be a time consuming process. Medical experts may need time to determine the seriousness of an injury. During this time you may be asked to answer written questions under oath. Any documentation supporting your case should be supplied to your personal injury attorney at this time.
During depositions you are asked questions verbally under oath and your responses are recorded by a court reporter. Experts, as well as other witnesses may also be deposed at this time. Your attorney will be with you during the deposition. In preparation for a trial, certain Pre-trial Motions may be filed by either side. These may request that certain pieces of evidence be dismissed, and even the entire case. It does take some time for the court to respond to pre-trial motions.
Before a jury trial, settlement conferences or mediation may be scheduled in an effort to avoid a jury trial. If your case does not settle, a trial will be scheduled. Depending on how busy the court is, this could take several months as well. Some cases still settle while awaiting trial or even during the trial itself. A case may settle up until the point where a trial verdict is reached.
It’s important during the entire process that you communicate with your attorney. Any changes in your injury or medical condition should be reported right away. Same for contact information if you should move or have a change in phone number or email. If at any point you are not sure where your case stands, you should feel comfortable contacting your attorney and asking.
Do your part by providing documentation when requested and being available for appointments.
Most personal injury cases do not require an up-front retainer, they are taken on a contingency basis. Be sure you understand the fees you will be charged against your settlement and any case costs associated with your case. If you feel you may have a personal injury case and live in the State of New York, please don’t hesitate to call us at 315-701-2939 or CONTACT US ONLINE with any additional questions you may have.