So your lawyer made a claim to the insurance company, and the case didn’t settle. Cases don’t settle for several reasons, including:
- The insurance company denies liability, thinking that their driver wasn’t at fault
- The insurance company believes that you were at fault for the collision
- The insurance company thinks the collision did not cause your injuries
- The insurance company doesn’t believe your legal claim is worth what you think it’s worth
Once it becomes obvious that the case won’t settle, we transfer the case to the litigation department. Usually within a few weeks, we will prepare the necessary documents for a lawsuit. These include:
- The complaint (the document beginning a lawsuit in court)
- Written discovery (questions to be answered by the negligent party)
- Notices of Deposition (in circuit court or federal court)(a request to speak to the negligent party)
The length of time depends on what court we are in. In Circuit Court, we will usually get to trial within one to one and-a-half years. In District Court, we will get a trial date about 4 months away (though this date often changes). The final trial date is usually within about 6 months from the time the lawsuit is filed.
These dates are just general guidelines–some cases go faster, and some slower. If you have questions, just ask–we’ll explain the process in detail. And remember–sometimes the case will settle after a lawsuit is filed–settlement can happen at any time–right after the complaint is filed, or during trial.
See What to Expect When You’re Suing, Part I: Pre-Trial Settlement