Unfortunately, there is no preset schedule for car accident lawsuits; as with any litigious action, the amount of time required is dependent on the specifics of the case in question. There are, however, certain factors that commonly influence the total duration of a court case.
One of the most pertinent considerations in a car-accident liability lawsuit is proving fault. Victims and plaintiffs may present a variety of sources of evidence, such as police reports and surveillance footage, in an attempt to prove beyond reasonable doubt that they were wronged. In some cases, they may even use traffic laws specific to their state to support their argument that the other driver should be held responsible. Because juries and judges must evaluate the validity of such arguments, the plaintiffs’ ability to represent themselves in court plays a big role in how much time they spend waiting for a decision.
Another important factor is whether the defendant can actually be held liable for the damages. For instance, a commercial truck driver who causes a wreck may not be the only individual at fault; employer liability or negligence may mean that the driver’s boss also contributed to the accident. Lawsuits that do not account for such situations may take longer or be more open to counterarguments.
The amount of settlement a victim requests also plays a role. In some instances, plaintiffs and defendants will go back and forth for months or years as they negotiate award amounts, and when insurance companies are involved, things can take even longer as damaged property, medical bills and other claim evidence are assessed. It should be noted however, that insurers and lawyers are typically governed by finite time limits requiring them to disburse funds to victims within around three months after a successful settlement agreement.
In the end, the amount of time car accident lawsuits require is directly related to the amount of preparation plaintiffs put into them. It is important to consider the specific civil and tort laws of the jurisdiction in question to ensure that all actions have been taken properly and prevent administrative or technical delays. To learn more about how a settlement might play out or potentially discover additional factors that might reduce the wait, contact a lawyer.