How Long Does A Lawsuit Take?


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How Long Does A Lawsuit Take? (With an Infographic)

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A common question when filing a claim is, how long will my lawsuit take? There is no one size fits all answer for how long a lawsuit might take, but every lawsuit will go through the same basic steps. Below we have outlined in detail what each step typically is and what you can expect throughout the legal process.

How Long Does A Personal Injury Lawsuit Take?

We encourage you to carefully evaluate the above graphic but also want to provide some of the details covered above.

How Long Does a Lawsuit Take?

Personal injury lawsuits require varying time periods to resolve. Some cases are settled quickly, while other more complex cases may take many months or even longer to resolve. Some of the factors that influence the length of time it takes to settle an injury case include the court schedules where the legal action is pending, the complexity of the suit, the nature of the injuries suffered by the victim and the need for ongoing medical treatment, as well as other factors.

Essentially, Each Injury Case Moves Through the Same Series of Steps:

1. Finding and Hiring An Attorney

This step is extremely important, particularly in cases of serious or catastrophic injury.

2. The Investigation

An investigation into the facts is initiated directly after you have retained counsel. Specific data will be collected like:

  • Get accident report
  • Collect medical records & identify injuries
  • Additional care & treatment recommendations, if needed.
  • Determine insurance
  • Write up letter of Retention

3. Ensuring the Patient Gets All Recommended Care and Treatment

It is imperative that the injured person has access to any treatment or care that has been recommended by the medical professionals who assessed his or her condition.

4. Determining the Insurance the At-Fault Party Carries

The insurance company of the responsible party is contacted and the policy limits identified.

5. Pre-Suit Negotiations

The facts are shared with an insurance adjuster, in an effort to get the case resolved quickly and fairly.

A fair settlement offer may be presented at this stage in a percentage of cases. It can be accepted if the client and lawyer agree the offer is fair. An initial settlement offer at a fair level occurs in some cases, and when it does, the offer is accepted and the case is concluded.

6. Filing the Lawsuit

If the insurance company does not make a fair settlement offer, a lawsuit will be filed.

7. Discovery

This process includes:

  • Interrogatories
  • Depositions
  • And developing witness lists and sharing this information with the opposing counsel.

8. Case Evaluation

Prior to the trial, the case is submitted to a panel that is tasked with evaluating the claim.

If the amount determined by the panel is acceptable to the injured person, the case is resolved at this point. If not, the case proceeds to trial. This occurs about 50% of the time.

9. Preparing for Trial

The case is carefully prepared for presentation to a jury, with all relevant facts regarding the degree of the injuries, the long-term consequences to the victim, the facts surrounding the negligence of the responsible party, and all other details.

10. Verdict Settlement

The case is presented in court, the jury reaches a verdict, and the settlement is awarded to the injured party and becomes a court order.

Calculating a Personal Injury Settlement: How Do You Find Out How Much Your Case is Worth?

There are various calculations that must be undertaken to determine the value of a personal injury claim.

A person who has been injured by the acts of another party has the right to recover damages of various types. Such as:

  • Auto Accidents
  • Motorcycle Accidents
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Dog Bite
  • Disabilities
  • Slip and Fall

All of these damages are carefully evaluated, often with the help of:

  • Medical experts
  • Accounting experts
  • Or other professionals

Who may be needed, based upon the degree of the injuries suffered.

The damages pursued include, but are not limited to:

  • Doctor Bills
  • Hospital Bills
  • Ambulance Costs
  • Nursing Care
  • Medical Equipment Costs
  • Transportation
  • Rehabilitation Costs
  • Loss of Income from Work
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Estimated Future Financial Losses
  • Loss of Consortium
  • Emotional Anguish

Under Michigan law section 600.294A, there is a statutory limit of $500,000 on the amount of non-economic damages that can be paid to a victim in a product liability case.

The state also employs the legal concept of comparative negligence as outlined in section 600.2959 in which the percentage of fault in an accident will affect the value of the settlement paid to the injured person.

If you have questions about how much your case is worth, we invite you to contact Goodman Acker P.C. The firm provides legal services on a contingency fee basis, and has recovered millions in damages for the injured. With 30 years of experience at trial, you can be confident that your legal representation is highly skilled, effective, and has a long track record of results.

Call now or use our online form to submit facts about your injury case. We respond quickly, and we are dedicated to pursuing justice for the injured in Michigan.


Barry J. Goodman has devoted his professional life to keeping courthouse doors open for victims seeking justice. Always a tireless advocate for his own clients, Goodman sees his responsibility as a Detroit personal injury attorney in a broader sense as well.


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