September 15, 2019

How Long Will My Personal Injury Claim Take?

By Jonathan Damashek

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As you undergo medical treatment, miss work, and suffer tremendous pain from an injury-causing accident, you’re probably also starting to feel the financial strain of your situation. It’s understandable that you’d be eager to see results in recovering compensation, so there’s one key question on your mind: “How long will my personal injury claim take?” The truth is, there’s no one answer. The timing of your claim is an amalgamation of your specific circumstances, legal issues, and other factors that make it impossible to come up with an exact date.

That said, you can glean a significant amount of helpful information by discussing your claim with one of our skilled attorneys at Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C. Please contact us to set up a complimentary consultation today. We can explain the stages of a typical case, which starts with retaining a knowledgeable New York personal injury lawyer. From there, there are two main phases involved with the process.

Your Injury Claim with the Responsible Party’s Insurer

In most personal injury cases, your first step in seeking compensation for your losses is filing a claim with an insurance company. Motorists, property owners, and businesses carry insurance to protect their interests in the event of an accident, so you’ll usually pursue their insurer for payment.

Litigation to Enforce Your Legal Rights

If the insurance company is unwilling to agree to a fair settlement amount, you’ll enter the next phase of a personal injury case. You’ll need to file a lawsuit in civil court, which can also add time to the process.

1. Filing the Lawsuit: Your attorney will need to prepare the essential documents for initiating litigation, of which the Complaint is the most important. In this filing, you’ll state the facts regarding the personal injury accident, including:

  • Your version of how the incident happened;
  • Allegations on the responsible party’s misconduct in causing the accident;
  • Your injuries and treatment;
  • How your injuries have affected your life; and,
  • Other key details.

The Complaint concludes with your request for the court to award monetary damages to cover your losses.

2. Pre-Trial and Discovery: Though both sides have already conducted some investigation, they may seek additional information through the discovery process. Your lawyer will handle most of the necessary tasks, such as sending out and responding to written interrogatories, requests for documents, and related discovery. However, you’ll need to appear for a deposition if requested.

There are additional court hearings during the pre-trial, including status conferences to update the judge on the progress of the case. Plus, both parties will have the opportunity to file motions in court, which is an official request for the judge to take some action.

3. Trial: Your personal injury case culminates in a trial, where your lawyer will present evidence and arguments on the relevant allegations. Generally, this means introducing proof of all elements of a negligence case, including the responsible party’s breach of duty and damages. The defendant will also have the opportunity to contest your allegations. At the conclusion of the trial, the judge or jury will issue a verdict in your case.

A New York Personal Injury Attorney Can Provide Additional Information About Your Claim

This information may not provide an exact time frame when you ask, “How long will my personal injury claim take?” However, it’s helpful in the sense that it describes what to expect with an insurance claim and the litigation process. If you’d like to learn more about timing in personal injury cases, please contact Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C. to set up a free case evaluation. You can call us at 212-490-5700 or use our online contact form. We represent clients throughout New York City, Long Island, and the surrounding region, and we look forward to hearing from you.