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How Long Does a Car Accident Lawsuit Take?
Following a car crash, it is natural to wonder when you might receive a settlement or award from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. For detailed information about what you might expect in your case, always reach out to our experienced Tampa car accident attorneys at Mickey Keenan, P.A.
When Do You Need to File a Car Accident Lawsuit?
Not every car accident claim requires a lawsuit in civil court. If you are eligible to file an at-fault claim due to serious injuries, our lawyers will generally begin by seeking a settlement directly from the driver’s insurance company.
Some insurance companies offer fair settlements, and the case concludes. Others refuse to offer an adequate settlement, even after persuasive negotiations, and we need to escalate the matter to litigation. Be aware that some time passes before you would file a lawsuit at all.
The Personal Injury Lawsuit Process
The personal injury lawsuit process in Florida takes time, as it typically involves several key steps. Here’s an overview of the process:
Filing a complaint
If your attorney determines that the case has legal grounds, they file a complaint against the at-fault party, initiating the lawsuit. The complaint outlines the legal basis for your claim and the damages sought.
Both parties engage in the discovery process, which involves exchanging information and evidence. This may include written interrogatories, requests for documents, and depositions to gather more information about the case.
Car accident lawyers continue to engage in settlement negotiations to reach a resolution without going to trial. Attorneys negotiate based on the information they learned in discovery, aiming to secure a fair settlement that compensates you for your damages. Many cases settle at this stage of the process, but not all.
If you do not receive a fair settlement offer, the case proceeds to trial. Both sides present their evidence, call witnesses, and make arguments before a judge or jury. The decision is then made based on the evidence presented.
All of this takes time, and how long your case will ultimately take depends on whether your case settles and at what part of the process.
You Should Start the Process Right Away
In Florida, the statute of limitations for filing a car accident lawsuit is now two years from the date of the accident. This means you only have up to two years to initiate legal action against the at-fault party for injuries and losses from the accident. This is after you already pursued an insurance claim.
Failing to file a lawsuit within this timeframe may result in the loss of the right to seek compensation through the court system. It’s important to consult with a car accident attorney to understand the specific statute of limitations that may apply to your case, as certain circumstances can alter the time limit.
Don’t Wait to Consult with Our Tampa Car Accident Attorneys
The sooner you begin the legal process by setting up your free consultation, the sooner we can begin protecting your rights and seeking compensation. Our legal team can advise you on the type of timeline you might expect, given the circumstances of your case, and help in many other ways.