Typical Timeline for a Personal Injury Case in FL
Miami FL personal injury lawyers are often asked to provide a timeline for a typical personal injury case. The answer is that most personal injury cases take a minimum of six months and can last upwards of a number of years depending upon the complexity of the issues contained therein.
Because such cases carry with them such uncertainties and complexities, the firm Buchalter Hoffman & Dorchak are the Miami FL personal injury lawyers of choice.
Every personal injury case begins with an accident – either a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall accident, a dog bite or a workplace accident. From that point forward, the typical personal injury case will proceed upon the timeline set forth below.
The attorney will notify the responsible party of their representation of the injured plaintiff. That will be accomplished by way of written notice on the attorney’s letterhead. The offending party will then submit that notice to their insurance carrier for handling. A claim number will be at assigned and a claims adjuster will contact the attorney to confirm their representation.
This will take a few weeks at the outset of the case, during which time the plaintiff likely will remain in treatment for their injuries.
A case cannot be negotiated for settlement unless or until the plaintiff has concluded their treatment. Toward that end, most attorneys will not even consider ordering medical records for at least 90 days, if not longer. As such, most personal injury cases will have a “shelflife“ of at least three months.
At that point in time, the attorney will evaluate the case to ascertain where the client stands in terms of treatment. At the same time, the attorney will be evaluating liability to determine how to best position his client’s argument so that the insurance carrier and attorneys for the defendant understand that liability should be resolved in favor of the plaintiff.
At the end of the 90 day timeframe, the attorney will order medical records and attempt to settle the case. If the client is still in treatment, the attorney will push this deadline out a few months to allow the plaintiff to reach maximum medical improvement.
However, once the plaintiff has either reached or approached maximum medical improvement, the attorney will make an effort to settle the case with the insurance carrier for the defendant.
If a reasonable settlement cannot be reached at that time, the attorney will file a lawsuit. This is a completely separate aspect of the case which will certainly lengthen the timeline.
Once suit is filed, a docket number is assigned to the case as is hey presiding judge. Attorneys are retained by the defendant and the attorneys will then engage in what is known as “discovery“.
Discovery is the exchange of information between the parties such as photographs of the accident, copies of the police report, statements made by witnesses and testimony of the parties. Discovery normally lasts at least 3 to 6 months (if not longer) depending upon the complexity of the discovery to be exchanged.
Therefore, the short answer is that a personal injury case will take a minimum of 90 days to be evaluated by the attorney before settlement will be contemplated. From there, the case may take an additional six months if treatment is not completed and may take another few years if suit has to be filed.
Because of the nature and complexity of personal injury cases, it is a wise decision to consult with the firm of Buchalter Hoffman & Dorchak today since they are the finest Miami FL personal injury lawyers in practice.
Schedule your consultation with Buchalter Hoffman & Dorchak today and begin on the road to recovery from your injuries so that you may receive maximum compensation to which you are entitled.