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How long does an auto accident lawsuit take?  Let’s take a look. 

You’ve been in an auto accident.  You were released from medical treatment.  Your personal injury lawyers sent a demand packet to the defendant’s insurance company and negotiated your damages.  But the insurance company did not make a fair and reasonable offer.

So, you filed a lawsuit.  How long does an auto accident lawsuit take?  Just like the stages of pre-litigation, there are steps to bring your auto accident lawsuit to a conclusion.

Auto Accident Lawsuit Litigation Steps

After you file a lawsuit, the insurance company will change how the handle your claim.  They will have an attorney replace the adjuster as the voice for the defendant.  Litigation will likely go through the following stages:

  1. Drafting petition: We will file an original petition and serve the defendant with a lawsuit.
  2. Written Discovery:  Once the parties have been served, written discovery can be requested by both parties.  This may include interrogatories, requests for admissions, and requests for production.  Exhibits and witness lists will also be exchanged.  This may go on until the discovery deadline ends.
  3. Depositions:  As the parties put together their case, they may examine fact witnesses and expert witnesses.  This is done to see what information they will testify in the trial.
  4. Mediation: As the claim becomes clear, most judges require that the parties attend a mediation.  The mediator is usually and attorney or a retired judge.  They will try and help the parties resolve the claim.
  5. Trial:  If the above process does not lead to a settlement, there will be a trial.  The attorneys and the judge will pick a trial date for the trial early in the discovery period.  Because most claims settle prior to trial, multiple trial settings will be set on the same date.  Usually the oldest date of accident will have priority.  So, your trial date may have to be reset.

Conclusion

Once your claim has been filed with the court, it could take months or over a year to reach a trial.  However, you need to understand that your personal injury attorney will continue to resolve the claim right up to the day of trial.

I have seen many cases get resolved the night before the trial and even after the judge has seated the jury.  Stay in communication with the attorney.  They will help you to understand the status of your claim.