Generally, the process involves investigation into liability and damages. Claims can be both legally and factually complex. A simple automobile accident can be complicated by several eye witnesses with different versions of how each thought the accident occurred. Courts in different jurisdictions may have applied the laws differently to similar factual settings, resulting in conflicting decisions. Your lawyer will investigate the facts of your case and advise you as to what the liability picture looks like. Your damages may not be completely known until you have finished all of your medical treatment and had some time to reflect on the residual effects of any disability, pain or mental anguish you may continue to suffer.
The effects on your ability to earn wages may take additional time to calculate. Once your damages are known, your attorney should be able to make a recommendation on the value of your claim. Your claim is then in a position to attempt to negotiate a settlement. If a settlement is reached, the other side usually has a limited amount of time to fund the settlement absent extenuating circumstances. If the parties are unable to reach a settlement, a lawsuit is filed. The time it takes for a lawsuit to resolve can vary widely depending on the parties and complexity of the issues involved. In most cases under Louisiana law, the plaintiff has one year from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. From our experience, most cases settle within thirty to sixty (30-60) days from the date treatment has ended. Lawsuits usually take from ten (10) months to several years to conclude. This is why many cases settle before a lawsuit is filed.
If you have any questions about your specific legal situation please contact our firm today to see how we can help.