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How Long Are Personal Injury Lawsuits? Is There an Average Length?

By William Chanfrau, Jr. on April 30, 2016

A statue of justice and her scalesThe legal process is a deliberate machine, which means that justice can move very slowly, even with urgent legal matters. The legal team at Chanfrau & Chanfrau always stresses this to clients. We know the frustration, but as leading personal injury lawyers serving Daytona Beach, we make it our mission to help clients through this trying time.

The wait and the stress involved can be frustrating, especially when they have to suffer from a serious injury or watch a loved one suffer from an injury. That's why picking the right attorney is crucial--he or she can see you through this process and offer perspective and much-needed peace of mind.

Average Time for Personal Injury Cases

Figuring out an average timeframe for a personal injury case can be challenging. There are so many variables in injury cases, and none are exactly alike.

There's a telling number, however, from the United States Department of Justice. In a 2007 study, the United States Department of Justice found that it took roughly 27.5 months for medical malpractice lawsuits to reach a resolution. This means cases that were settled out of court as well as those that went to trial.

Some cases may be resolved more quickly than others, though it's not unheard of for personal injury lawsuits to potentially drag on for years and years.

Common Factors Affecting Length of Personal Injury Cases

Some common factors that can add time to your personal injury case include the following:

  • Problems determining liability for an injury
  • Problems determining damages
  • A large amount of money is at stake
  • You are still undergoing medical treatment for the injury
  • Maximum medical improvement (i.e., the fullest extent of recovery) has not been achieved

In all such cases, lawyers want to perform their due diligence to collect damages as well as prove or disprove liability. This takes time.

Settlement vs. Trial

A major factor in the length of a personal injury case is whether it is settled out of court or goes to trial. A legal settlement essentially means the plaintiff and defendant reach a mutually agreeable resolution to the injury claim without having to go to trial.

A settlement may still take years to be reached, but the case is resolved without the added court time that a trial involves.

Setbacks: Hung Juries and Mistrials

If your personal injury case goes to trial, there is a chance that the jury may be hung and rule in no one's favor. In such cases, a mistrial may be sought. This means that a whole new trial will have to be performed with a new jury. This can add months or even years to a case.

Statute of Limitations: Start the Process as Soon as Possible

Even though your statute of limitations on a case may be a few years, it's important that you get the wheels in motion as soon as possible. Filing a claim well before the statute of limitations expires will allow you to seek justice and understand what's ahead in the legal process sooner rather than later.

Speak with the Lawyers at Chanfrau & Chanfrau

For more information about the length of your injury lawsuit and other concerns that are important for the litigation process, be sure to contact our personal injury law firm today. The lawyers of Chanfrau & Chanfrau will help you during every phase of your lawsuit.

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