How long does it take to settle a personal injury lawsuit?

People with little or no experience in the world of litigation, legal claims, lawsuits and attorneys often confuse terminology. Failing to recognize, for example, the difference between a legal settlement and a simple settlement, for example, can lead to all kinds of pitfalls, both financial and otherwise.

The question of how long it takes to settle a lawsuit sounds simple enough, but it’s very much like asking how much it will cost to make a movie. The answer is “a bag full of dollars” which is a nice way of saying “it depends.”

If you are in a situation where you aren’t certain how long legal action takes or what you should expect when it comes to the legal process, first you should consider contacting an Austin personal injury lawyer. In the meantime, here are some things you should consider.

Legal Settlements

Once a lawsuit is filed, there are two possibilities. Either the parties to the lawsuit will reach a settlement on their own or the court will issue a ruling which will render the settlement academic. At any time up to the moment the judge rules or a jury hands up a verdict, the parties can enter into an agreement to settle the case.

This can happen on day one of litigation. It could also happen before litigation. But the key principle is it will be a legal settlement because it must include an agreement on the part of the plaintiff to drop the lawsuit and an agreement by the defendant to abide by the terms.

Simple Settlements

When no litigation has commenced and no formal legal action has been taken, parties to a lawsuit can enter into pretty much any kind of agreement they like. Most disputes are either abandoned or settled in this manner. Since there is no lawsuit to drop, these kinds of settlements are only “legal” inasmuch as they are presumed to be enforceable by either party if a suit is filed at some later date. But they are rarely formally drafted or written by legal professionals.

Personal Injury Cases

How long a civil claim for personal injury lasts is another one of those “it depends” questions. Cases can be delayed for considerable terms by legal maneuvering. Discovery, motions for continuances, depositions, challenges to motions and various other kinds of day-to-day paperwork chases can drain the bank accounts and patience of all parties involved.

Among the many questions any potential plaintiff should ask their attorney is whether the case is worth pursuing. Very often, personal injury cases are quickly settled in the interests of avoiding the potential of ever-rising expense exceeding the value of the settlement.

If you are involved in a personal injury dispute, it is in your best interests to retain the services of a qualified and experienced attorney like those at Briggle & Polan, PLLC. The alternatives are far too risky and are only likely to prevent a just and equitable outcome.

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