You are currently viewing How Long Does A PI Case Take To Go To Trial?

How Long Does A PI Case Take To Go To Trial?

Every week, lawyers sign up a new case where on the first day the client asks how long the case is going to take.  It is obvious if you handle personal injury cases that every person involved in a personal injury case – especially one in litigation – wants it to be over.  There is a large psychological toll that being involved in a “claim” has in and of itself.  Lawyers have to continuously remind their clients that their pain and injuries will not magically go away simply upon the resolution of the claim.  But, this is a reality that insurance companies and their attorneys routinely exploit to wear down injured victims and get them to settle for a lower amount as a personal injury lawyer knows.

In reality, answering the question of how long a case takes to get to resolution is an impossible task because each case is different, the issues in contention are different, and the venue is different.  That is, a case that has minor injuries that have resolved with no dispute about whose fault the accident is will probably resolve quickly whereas a case with a tractor trailer accident with a client whose injuries are severe and the extent of which are unknown will likely take much longer. The duration it takes for a personal injury case to go to trial can vary significantly depending on various factors, including the complexity of the case, the jurisdiction in which it’s being tried, the backlog of cases in the court system, and the willingness of both parties to settle.

Lawyers have no control over whether a party offers a settlement.  They only have control of whether to take a settlement offer, which is a big difference as Kiefer & Kiefer can attest.  

In general, personal injury cases can take anywhere from several months to several years to go to trial. Here are some factors that can influence the timeline:

  • Pre-trial Procedures: Before a case goes to trial, there are often pre-trial procedures such as discovery (the exchange of evidence), depositions (sworn statements by witnesses), and motions (legal arguments made to the court). These procedures can take several months to complete.
  • Negotiations and Settlement Attempts: Many personal injury cases are settled out of court through negotiations between the parties or through alternative dispute resolution methods such as mediation or arbitration. If the parties are able to reach a settlement, the case may not go to trial at all. However, negotiations can prolong the process if the parties are unable to come to an agreement.
  • Court Dockets and Scheduling: The court’s schedule and backlog of cases can also affect the timeline for a trial. Courts often have limited resources and may have numerous cases scheduled before yours, leading to delays in scheduling trial dates.
  • Complexity of the Case: Complex cases involving multiple parties, significant injuries, or disputed liability issues may require more time to prepare and litigate, leading to longer timeframes before trial.
  • Legal Strategies and Tactics: Both parties may employ various legal strategies and tactics that can extend or expedite the timeline for going to trial.

While some personal injury cases may be resolved relatively quickly, others can take years to reach a resolution. It’s essential for individuals involved in personal injury cases to work closely with their attorneys to understand the process and manage expectations regarding the timeline for their case. Contact a lawyer near you to get started.