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How Long Does a Personal Injury Lawsuit Take in California?

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

Navigating the legal world can be a very overwhelming experience. Especially when it comes to personal injury lawsuits. How long does the process typically take from beginning to end? In this article we will attempt to answer that question for residents of California. J&Y Law Firm has represented thousands of clients in the State of California who were injured and we have a very good idea of how long a lawsuit takes to complete.

The Quick Answer

The average settlement or judgment for a personal injury claim is usually reached between 3 months and 12 months after hiring a lawyer to represent you. However, there are many factors that could delay the process.

Factors Influencing the Duration of a Personal Injury Claim

  • Severity of the Injury: More severe injuries require extensive medical evaluations. Hence, this can extend the timeline.
  • Legal Complexity: Some cases have straightforward facts, while others might involve intricate legal issues, leading to prolonged resolution times.
  • Insurance Companies: Often, the willingness of insurance companies to settle can influence how long the process takes. Many insurance companies want to reach a fair settlement quickly so they don’t risk losing far more in a court case, but some insurance companies are stubborn and are simply unwilling to pay anything, no matter the cost, until they are absolutely forced to by a court of law.

The Stages of a Personal Injury Lawsuit

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The Preliminary Stages

Once an injury occurs, there’s a period where the injured party receives medical treatment. Only after reaching a point of sufficient medical improvement can the lawsuit formally begin.

Negotiation Phase

Before going to trial, there’s often an attempt to resolve the matter through negotiations. This phase can last anywhere from a few weeks to several months.

The Trial

If negotiations fail, the case heads to trial. Preparing for the trial and waiting for a court date can extend the lawsuit duration significantly. In California, it might take anywhere from a few months to a couple of years to get a court date scheduled. Once your court date arrives, the trial could last anywhere from one day to multiple weeks, depending on the complexity of the case and the amount of evidence.

Possible Delays

While the legal process has its timeline, unexpected issues can arise. Things like court delays, changes in legal representation for the other party, witnesses becoming ill or deceased, or new evidence can extend the process.

In Conclusion

In California, a personal injury lawsuit’s duration varies. It’s influenced by various factors, from the injury’s severity to legal complexities. Although it’s challenging to pinpoint an exact timeline, being aware of the potential stages and delays can provide some clarity.

Remember, patience is crucial. Seeking expert legal counsel can also guide one through the complexities and nuances of the process. If you have been injured in an accident in the State of California, you should contact J&Y Law Firm in Los Angeles for a free consultation. Our legal team will listen to the details of your case and help you to get justice for your suffering. Call us today at (877) 469-1281 or message us using the chat feature at the bottom right of the screen.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.