The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published data finding that 24.5 million Americans visit emergency medical departments for unintentional injuries each year. If your injury was caused by the wrongful conduct of another party, you can file a personal injury claim to seek compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and other damages.
This raises an important question: How long will a personal injury claim take? The answer varies widely based on the specific circumstances, including the severity of the accident and the complexity of the case. In this article, our Spokane personal injury lawyers offer a basic overview of the timeline in the average personal injury case.
Know the Timeline: Five Key Steps in a Personal Injury Case
- Medical Treatment
- Consult With a Spokane Personal Injury Lawyer
- Demand for Compensation
- Settlement Negotiations
- Personal Injury Lawsuit
The first step in any personal injury case is medical treatment. You cannot file a personal injury claim unless you have been evaluated by a doctor. Your ability to recover financial compensation is based on your proving the existence and severity of your injuries. Get a medical evaluation as soon as possible after an accident. Beyond that, always attend follow up appointments.
Next, you should reach out to an experienced Spokane, WA personal injury attorney. At Albrecht Law PLLC, we provide free initial consultation. We will review your case, answer questions about the law, and tell you what you need to do next. Ideally, you should get in touch with a lawyer as soon as possible after an accident.
Your lawyer is probably not going to start by filing a personal injury lawsuit. In fact, only a small number of personal cases actually make it into the courtroom. Instead, your personal injury attorney is likely to begin with a demand letter. Essentially, this formal letter will notify the defendant and its insurance of your claim and make a clear request for compensation.
A well-drafted demand letter typically includes a reasonable deadline for a response. In many cases, this will initiate settlement negotiations. Depending on your case, settlement talks may take place within a few weeks or a few months of the accident.
If settlement negotiations are not making sufficient progress—or if the statute of limitations is approaching—your attorney can file a personal injury lawsuit. Even when a lawsuit is filed, a case can still be settled. Indeed, some claims are settled shortly before a trial. That being said, if your case does go all the way to trial, you should expect it to take more than a year.
Get Your Free Case Review With a Personal Injury Attorney in Spokane
At Albrecht Law PLLC, we are devoted to providing the highest level of client service and professional representation to injured victims. If you have any questions about your case, we are ready to help. Call us now or contact our legal team online for a no fee, no obligation evaluation of your case. With a legal office in Spokane, our lawyers fight for the rights of victims in Spokane County and throughout Eastern Washington.