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How Long Does a Personal Injury Lawsuit Take to get a Settlement?

Posted on January 23, 2023

If you have been injured due to the negligent actions of someone else in the Chicago area, you may very well need to file a personal injury lawsuit in order to recover compensation for your losses. You also probably want to know how quickly you can recover compensation. Here, we want to discuss the various time frames involved in these claims, but we do want to add a caveat – every personal injury claim is different, and the circumstances of your particular situation will determine the length of time it takes to recover the compensation you need.

The Insurance Settlement After Your Crash

The vast majority of personal injury claims in Illinois are resolved through settlements with insurance carriers. This could include an auto insurance carrier for a vehicle accident claim or perhaps a homeowners’ or business insurance carrier for premises liability incidents. Regardless of the type of incident, there will likely be some insurance carrier involved.

In the event fault is fairly straightforward, and there are no complications with the claim, it may be possible for injury victims to recover a settlement within a few months after the injury occurs. However, that is not necessarily the case.

For severe injuries, no settlement should occur until after a person reaches maximum medical improvement, which could take some time period additionally, it is very likely that insurance carriers or a personal injury jury will push back against having to payout compensation. For complicated insurance claims, it could take multiple months or even more than a year for the case to resolve. Consulting a Chicago vehicle accident attorney can help navigate these complexities and ensure a fair resolution.

Even then, there is no guarantee that the insurance carrier will offer a fair settlement. They could even deny the claim.

Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit Changes the Equation

In the event the other party or parties do not offer a fair settlement, or if the claim is denied, it may be necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court. When this occurs, this begins a different process than just negotiating with insurance carriers.

The beginning of a personal injury claim is the discovery process. This is when attorneys for the injury victim (the plaintiff) and the alleged negligent party (the defendant) exchange information with one another period both sides get to see everything. Additionally, there will likely be depositions of any witnesses involved in the claim. During this process, evidence and information may come to light that pushes one side or the other towards a settlement or to drop the case. The discovery process and continued negotiations can go on for quite some time, even up to multiple years after the incident occurs.

It is not uncommon for a case to resolve before going all the way to trial. In fact, most personal injury claims never make it to a jury. If there is no agreement along the way, a jury trial will be scheduled, but this may not occur until years after the initial incident.