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Last updated: 6/6/2013
How Long Will It Take?

Personal injury settlement time may be very different from case to case and can take up to two years or more to obtain your personal injury compensation. It is not in your best interest to take the first offer because it is rarely the best one. The important point to remember is that you have one chance to settle your claim; once an award is made, you cannot go back and ask for more money.
Although the time line may be different for each case, the following stages represent a typical personal injury case:

Injury evaluation. Your doctor must see your condition stabilized, determine the extent of the injury and if it is temporary or permanent. This stage can take easily a year.

Discovery. All parties involved must exchange documents, interview witnesses, get medical opinion, etc, a process that may take 6 months or so.

Depositions. You will be asked all sorts of questions (under oath!) about your injury,health, work, education, etc.

Pre-trial motions. Attorneys may file motions to narrow the case, for example, dismiss or object to certain evidence.

Mediation and settlement. In mediation a neutral mediator guides you and the other party through the negotiations, whereas in arbitration and arbitrator acts like a judge and makes decisions based on the evidence presented.

Trial. If negotiations fall apart, the case goes to trial by a jury. It may take 6 months or so to schedule the trial that could last from 2 days to a few weeks. Your personal injury lawyer can give you a good estimate of the personal injury settlement time and should keep you posted on the progress regularly.