If you have been wrongfully injured and are weighing whether to seek financial compensation from the person or persons who harmed you, you may be wondering, “How long does a lawsuit take for personal injury?”
Please remember that every personal injury case is different. There is no way to know at the outset when a case will ultimately be settled, or if it will even be settled at all, whether a lawsuit will need to be filed, whether the case will go to trial, or what the outcome of a trial will be.
Statute of Limitations Influences Answer to “How Long Does a Lawsuit Take?”
The timeline for resolving a personal injury case is partly a factor of the Statute of Limitations, the period of time in which you have to file a lawsuit before your potential claim elapses. For most cases in Illinois, the Statute of Limitations is two years after the date of injury, or one year if the Defendant is a government body (with some exceptions). Lawyers generally hope to settle their cases before the Statute of Limitations runs. If they cannot, filing and pursuing a lawsuit is the only route to take. If the Statute of Limitations elapses before a lawsuit is filed, the injured party may be forever barred from obtaining financial compensation.
But while a personal injury lawsuit must be filed in court before the Statute of Limitations passes, it does not necessarily mean that a personal injury claim will take that long to settle. Some claims could settle well before the Statute of Limitations runs, while others could settle or be resolved in court well after the time allowed by the Statute of Limitations (provided that a lawsuit has been filed). How long it takes to settle a personal injury case is influenced by multiple aspects, including legal merit, the insurance coverage available, the amount of the medical bills incurred, and the extent and permanency of any injuries.
So do not go by what other people may have told you about their own cases. Every personal injury case is unique and their particular details – including the answer to the question “How long does a lawsuit take?” – can differ greatly.
What Can I Do to Help My Personal Injury Claim?
It is difficult at the outset to know the answer to “How long does a lawsuit take?” or the ultimate outcome of your personal injury claim, particularly if it is your first time. Everything is new and unfamiliar to you, and it can be confusing to decide what to do next. For this reason, many injured people find that they might benefit from the guidance of an experienced lawyer, such as the Chicago personal injury lawyers at GWC.
With over $2 billion recovered for our clients and offices throughout the state, GWC is one of the premier Personal Injury and Workers’ Compensation law firms in Illinois.