What Is the Timeline of a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Filing a personal injury lawsuit is no laughing matter. That’s because you can never predict how the process will play out. All cases are different, and you won’t know how long it takes to settle everything. There’s an entire sequence of events that establishes the timeline of a personal injury lawsuit, which this article will explain in greater detail by our experienced personal injury lawyers:


Seeking Medical Attention

Once an accident occurs, you first need to seek medical attention for your injuries. We often advise that you see a doctor or visit the emergency room within 24 hours of the accident. You want to seek treatment immediately because you could compromise your health and the compensation you recover from a settlement or lawsuit.


Finding an Attorney

The very next step requires you to speak with an attorney. Why? They can review the facts of your case and answer any questions you have about the process of filing a lawsuit. They’ll also request medical records and documents to determine the full extent of your injuries. An attorney representing your case ensures you won’t leave any money on the table when seeking damages.


Filing Your Personal Injury Lawsuit

After gathering enough information, your attorney will file a lawsuit on your behalf. Then, it’s a matter of waiting – it could take months or over a year before your case goes to trial. Keep in mind that lawsuits must be filed within the statute of limitations. In California, you have a two-year deadline from the time the accident occurs to act.


The Discovery Process

Discovery is exchanging and investigating evidence and information from both parties. Your lawyer can send questions, request documents, and conduct depositions on witnesses of the accident. Depending on court procedures and deadlines, discovery can last six months to a year.



Mediation requires you and your lawyer to go before a mediator to settle the case. Even toward the end of the discovery process, lawyers on both sides will often discuss a potential settlement. Keep in mind that many cases settle before they go to trial.



Mediation isn’t always successful – if the two sides can’t agree to a settlement, the case goes to trial. Trials can last weeks, months, or longer – the lawyers and judges must review all the information and work the case. Trials can also get pushed back depending on the judge’s schedule. Remember, the judge and jury approve the compensation you can recover.


Have You Hired an Attorney?

You should never attempt to file a personal injury lawsuit on your own. Meeting with an attorney is one of the most critical steps to recovering compensation. They possess all the experience and legal knowledge to represent your case.


HHJ Trial Attorneys in San Diego offers you a free consultation to discuss your situation. We handle thousands of personal injury cases and provide our clients with the best services. It’s not fair for you to bear the financial burden of your injuries. Call us today, and we can begin reviewing your case immediately. Our job is to fight for every penny you deserve.

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