As experienced personal injury lawyers, one of the most frequent questions we get asked is: How long will it take for me to receive compensation?
Although it is impossible to predict with certainty just how long it will take for a personal injury claim to get resolved, at Cogan & Power, P.C., our Chicago personal injury attorneys like to remind clients that the wheels of justice turn much more slowly than we would like and that pursuing a personal injury or medical malpractice claim is more likerunning a marathon than a 40-yard dash.
It is understandable for clients to become impatient with the slow pace of a personal injury case, but it is important to remember that there are a number of steps that go into a successful medical malpractice or personal injury claim, all of which take a great deal of time in order to do correctly. For instance, the following are some of the key components of a medical malpractice or personal injury lawsuit:
- The case is investigated. A full review of documents records is conducted.
- Assuming the case has merit, the complaint is filed in the county where the defendant works or resides.
- Within approximately sixty days, lawyers appear for each defendant named and served, and all parties exchange written documents called “interrogatories” and “request to produce documents.”
- All written discovery is answered with 45 to 60 days, often requiring court intervention to rule on objections.
- The party filing the suit and all persons sued submit to discovery depositions which, depending on the complexity of the case and number of defendants sued and family members, may take up to 120 days.
- Defense lawyers have an opportunity to take the deposition of witnesses for the plaintiff, including any doctor that has treated the patient for his or her injuries. Depending upon the nature of the injuries and the number of witnesses, this process could take as long as four to five months.
- Plaintiff’s counsel provides all hired consultants with all medical records, deposition transcripts, and other pertinent documents, and will meet with each consultant/expert to learn the opinions each has formed. Disclosure of plaintiff’s experts is generally required with 60 days after the last treating physician deposition.
- After plaintiff’s experts are fully disclosed, each must submit to deposition taken by defense counsel. Depending upon the number of experts required, this process can take as long as 90 days.
- After plaintiff’s experts have submitted to deposition, defense counsel is given approximately 60 days to disclose their experts and these experts will submit to deposition taken by plaintiff’s counsel within approximately 90 days thereafter, depending upon the complexity of the case.
- Once expert depositions for both sides are taken, videotaped evidence depositions of certain treating physicians will be taken by one side or the other to be shown to the jury at trial on a large screen TV.
- The case is now ready for trial and the chief judge will likely assign the case a trial date about 60 to 90 days out.
- Settlement negotiations may take place, which can take several weeks or months. If there is no settlement, the case will proceed to trial.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
Although a personal injury case can take longer to reach resolution than one would like, the Chicago personal injury lawyers at Cogan & Power, P.C. will guide you every step of the way so that you understand the legal process, know what to expect, and are not confused about why the process may be proceeding more slowly than you would expect. If liability is assessed, we will help you obtain swift collection of your settlement or judgment.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, do not hesitate to contact our office at (312) 477-2500 to learn more about what to expect in a personal injury lawsuit.