Personal Injury Lawsuits_ Process and Timelines

How do you file a personal injury lawsuit, and what is the process and timeline? Often, filing a personal injury claim is the first step in attempting to recover the compensation you deserve after being injured in an accident caused by a careless individual. Sometimes, it may be necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit in court to get the maximum compensation you deserve.

Filing a personal injury lawsuit can be overwhelming. The process is often confusing. Many people need clarification on the timeline from start to finish. At JJ Legal, we can demystify the personal injury lawsuit process. We can provide information to help you better understand the personal injury lawsuit timeline and when you can expect to receive compensation.

Why Consider a Lawsuit?

In many situations, you don’t immediately file a personal injury lawsuit to pursue compensation for your injuries. Many begin the process of pursuing the money they need to cover their accident-related expenses by filing a personal injury claim with an insurance provider. During the personal injury claim process, your attorney will work with the insurer to arrive at a fair and reasonable settlement. However, in some cases, insurers are unwilling to negotiate in good faith. Depending on the circumstances of your situation, filing a personal injury lawsuit against the insurer or the at-fault party may be the best way to move forward with seeking the compensation you deserve.

Consult an Attorney

Talking to an attorney is the best way to learn more about your options for recovering compensation. The skills of an experienced personal injury attorney are invaluable when a careless individual causes an accident, and you are injured. Your attorney can advise you on how to get the money you deserve for your injuries. An initial consultation with a seasoned personal injury attorney can give you the information and advice to determine how to move forward.

Your attorney can review the specifics of your claim and give you an idea about the possible resolution or complications that might occur. Settlement is not an option in every case because the insurer won’t provide sufficient compensation to cover all the injured party’s losses or because there’s a disagreement about who was at fault. In some situations, filing a personal injury lawsuit gives an individual the best opportunity to reach a favorable outcome. Your attorney can file your personal injury lawsuit and ensure the defendants are served.

Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit: The Discovery Phase

The first phase of any personal injury lawsuit is the discovery phase. If you filed a personal injury claim, your attorney has already investigated the cause of the accident. However, during the discovery phase, your attorney can uncover additional evidence, acquire witness testimony, and gather other information about your case. The parties exchange information during this time by exchanging documents and formal requests for answers to specific questions. This gives both sides access to the available evidence, which means each side can prepare their case based on the strengths and weaknesses of their case.

During the discovery phase, each side conducts interviews, called “depositions,” of witnesses and experts under oath to acquire the answers to lingering questions and better understand the circumstances of the case, your injuries, and other pertinent information.

The discovery phase is often the longest part of the personal injury lawsuit process. Discovery can take months, sometimes even longer, in complex accident cases.


Sometimes, both sides agree to enter into mediation before heading to trial. Mediation is a method of alternative dispute resolution that helps the parties in the case avoid the time and expense of going to trial. During mediation, a neutral third party, the mediator, fosters communication between both sides and helps facilitate compromise so that both parties can reach a mutually beneficial settlement agreement. If mediation fails, your attorney can take your personal injury lawsuit to trial.

Personal Injury Lawsuit Trial

Both sides can present their case and supporting evidence to the judge or jury during a personal injury trial. The judge or jury evaluates the strength of the evidence presented by each side and determines the trial’s outcome. Depending on the case’s complexity, a trial can last a few days or up to a few weeks. 


Your case may not be complete at the end of your trial. Both sides can appeal the judge’s or jury’s decision following an unsatisfactory verdict. If your attorney believes procedural errors were made that impacted your case, they may wish to file an appeal allowing a high court to review the decision. Filing an appeal or fighting the appeal of the opposing side can extend the time it takes to resolve your case.

How Long Does a Personal Injury Lawsuit Take?

Personal Injury Lawsuits_ Process and Timelines

The time it takes to resolve a personal injury lawsuit depends on numerous factors. Many cases get resolved in a matter of months. However, complex cases can take months and sometimes years to complete. If you have concerns about resolving your personal injury lawsuit, discuss your worries with an experienced personal injury attorney. An attorney can review your situation and give you a more accurate timeline that reflects the unique nature of your case.

Each state limits the amount of time an injured party has to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party. Discussing your case with an attorney as soon as possible is the best way to ensure all your legal options for seeking compensation for your financial losses remain open and viable.

Get in Touch with an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer Today

Has a careless individual injured you in an accident? The award-winning personal injury team at JJ Legal has a long track record of helping people seek the compensation they deserve after an unfortunate accident. We’ve recovered more than $1 billion in verdicts and settlements and won’t stop until we‘ve done everything possible to help you.

Our compassionate staff have the resources and skills to fight for the money you need. Call our office today at 312-200-2000 for a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable personal injury lawyers.

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