What's the Hold-Up? Understanding Delays With Your Personal Injury Case
In some cases, accident victims may need to take the other party to court. Settlements are quick but some car accident cases are meant to be decided by a judge and jury. The downside to this way of making the at-fault driver pay is time. Read and find out what might be holding up your personal injury case.
File the Suit
Once it becomes clear that a lawsuit is inevitable, the suit will be filed and the other side has a certain amount of time within which to respond or answer. Nearly all legal matters take time, and the other side may have several weeks to answer. At some point, however, the court calendar will be consulted, and the trial will have a tentative start date.
Prepare for Trial
In many cases, the time needed to prepare for the trial exceeds that of the actual trial once it begins. A lot of work happens during discovery, which consists of several back-and-forth actions between the parties. For example, your lawyer will ask the defendants (the driver's insurers, in most cases) to send everything they have in the form of physical evidence supporting their side. Then, your side may be the recipient of several hundred questions that must be answered. Also during this time will come the deposition, another part of discovery.
Motions and More Motions
When anything needs to get done before and during a trial, it deserves a motion. Motions are filed by both sides asking the judge to rule on a matter. One common motion that comes very early on, for example, is the motion to dismiss. The defendant asks the judge to look at the facts of the case and make a ruling. In other words, no trial is necessary because the facts speak for themselves. This particular motion is routine and very seldom approved but many more motions are put forth to be either approved or denied. This, naturally, delays the trial since everything often comes to a stop while the judge deliberates, and the lawyers argue.
Postponements and Delays
Even when the trial appears to be underway, don't expect a smooth course. A trial has many moving parts and players, and some of them could have prior engagements. Not only that, but lawyers and judges get sick, take vacations, and have other emergencies come up from time to time.
While all the above are common, they don't necessarily have to cause problems for your case. It's far better to be prepared for the delays and expect them than to anticipate a quick and flawless courtroom process. To find out more, speak to your car accident lawyer.