How long does a personal injury lawsuit take in Tennessee?
If you have been in an accident that was caused by another party, you likely have many questions pertaining to your case. One of which is, how long will my personal injury case take? There really is no concrete answer to this. There are many factors which can determine how long it will take for a case to reach resolution. Here are some reasons why some personal injury cases may take longer to reach a conclusion than others:
Whether you have fully recovered from your injuries
The first thing that determines whether a personal injury case is resolved quickly is the extent of your injuries and your recovery timeline. In almost every circumstance, we are not willing to settle a case for a client unless maximum medical improvement has been reached. Maximum medical improvement refers to whether the plaintiff has fully recovered from their accident injuries, and has become stable with a clear picture of their medical future.
Difficulty of the investigation
Your lawsuit will require an investigation. Following the accident, your lawyer will review all accounts related to the case. These include many documents, such as photographs of the scene, witness statements, and any official reports from doctors or medical professionals who have treated your injuries. If it is difficult to obtain any of these documents, this can result in a delay.
Whether fault is admitted or contested
When the negligent party in your accident admits fault, this can expedite your personal injury case. This is true for any party that admits fault, including you, which is why we advise not making official statements to insurance companies without first consulting with an attorney. Tennessee personal injury law adheres to the doctrine of modified comparative negligence. This refers to the “50 percent rule,” which means that even if you are partially at fault for your accident, you can still receive compensation for it, if it is deemed that you hold less than half of the responsibility for causing the accident.
Number of parties in the accident and agreement of damages
The number of parties involved in your accident can have an effect on the length of your personal injury case. When there are multiple parties involved in a personal injury claim, your attorney’s investigation of the case becomes more complicated. This is due to the attorney’s responsibility to determine the amount of fault of each party, which can require the need to consult with experts, such as an accident reconstruction specialist. Additionally, these parties may contest fault, and insist that you were to blame. In such cases, this necessitates you being required to provide evidence which suggests otherwise.
When you and the other party can come to an agreement on the amount of damages caused by the accident, this can cause the claim to be quicker and easier to resolve. If your attorney has to negotiate with doctors or insurance providers about the extent of your damages, the personal injury case can take longer to resolve than if all parties were in agreement.
Length of time to process through court
The question of how long it takes to resolve a personal injury case can oftentimes be dependent on the court. Some courts move faster than others. Typically, cases that go to trial in Circuit Court take longer than those filed in General Sessions Court.
Whether an automotive defect is responsible for your accident
The party at fault in an accident is not always a negligent driver. Sometimes, accidents can be caused by a manufacturing defect which can have an impact on the drivers ability to control their vehicle. When this happens, any injured party can file a personal injury claim to seek compensation from the vehicle manufacturer, parts manufacturer, distributor, or seller. Whether a vehicle part has been recalled can complicate the personal injury claim process. If the part has been recalled, and there is a record of the manufacturer informing the claimant prior to the accident, you can be held accountable for failure to get the faulty part repaired or replaced. If the part had not been recalled, you will need to prove that it malfunctioned and it was this malfunction which caused the accident.
Get help from an experienced personal injury attorney
After you have received appropriate medical attention for your injuries following an accident, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss the details of your case. Don’t attempt to negotiate with insurance companies alone. More often than not you will be offered the lowest possible amount that could reasonably cover your expenses. If you accept this amount, the claim is finished. Instead of accepting less than you could potentially settle for, let an attorney be your advocate every step of the way. They will negotiate for you, and determine the best possible outcome in your personal injury case.
If you would like to discuss your injury case with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers, please contact us online or call us at 423-434-4700 for a consultation. In injury and wrongful death cases, we work on a contingency fee basis which means we only get paid if we recover money for you.
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