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How Long Do Car Accident Lawsuits Take in Alabama?



The average time for a car accident claim to run from start to finish in court is approximately 18 months. You typically have two years (2) from the date of your injury to file a lawsuit. After filing, the typical lawsuit takes anywhere from 9 to 18 months to go to trial. However, the facts of each case are unique and different. It is impossible for anyone to tell you how long your case will take without knowing more detail about your particular circumstances. What I can do is give you an idea of what factors impact how long a case takes to come to resolution. 

Your Medical Treatment 

Your case typically waits to either settle or go to trial until after you have completed your medical treatment, or until your medical treatment has been stabilized. Your case only settles once, so if there is adequate insurance coverage to cover all of your damages, then you're probably going to want to get as clear a picture as you can of the total impact of your damages before we attempt to value your claim. 

How an Auto Accident Lawsuit Unfolds

If you cannot agree with the other driver's insurance company to a reasonable settlement, then your next option is to file a lawsuit. They are typically filed in the county where the accident occurred. Auto Accident lawsuits in Alabama must be filed within two years of the date of the accident; this is generally referred to as the "Statute of Limitations." For the best results, you want to give your attorney a little bit of time to work with prior to the two year deadline. If you want to attempt to settle your claim without filing a lawsuit, you need to allow your attorney six months time to work with. A lawsuit is initiated by filing a Complaint. Once we file it, we have to make sure the defendant gets a copy. Then, the defendant has 30 days to respond. If all goes properly, they will file an Answer. 

Along with the Answer, the defendant will file Discovery Requests, which are written questions about your claim, such as how the accident happened, and what injuries you suffered. I will help you prepare responses to those. Some of them we might even object to and not respond at all. I will help you decide. We have thirty days to complete our responses. If you're keeping count, we're two months in at this point, and that's assuming no delays, and delays are very common. After both sides have completed and responded to each other's written questions, we gather all the relevant records. This process takes at least another month, and usually longer. It depends on how many records there are, and in how many different places.

Once everyone has had an opportunity to gather and review all of the records, we are prepared to move forward. Both parties typcially take a series of depositions, which is sort of like testifying in court, it just isn't done in court. Read more about depositions here. After we complete depositions, many cases attempt a formal settlement process known as mediation. It's voluntary, and usually productive. Even if a settlement is not reached, we might get closer to a settlement through mediation. As mediation is fairly deep in the lawsuit process, it's hard to say more about what to expect for a particular claim. It is something you and I would discuss at the appropriate time in  your process. You can read more about mediation here. 

 

Looking for Answers About Your Accident?

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Free Initial Strategy Session

All Initial Strategy Sessions are Free. If you would like to discuss your options, you are invited to fill out one of the Contact Forms. I will attempt to contact you if I think I can help you.

During your Initial Strategy Session, I will asist you in creating a strategy on how to best pursue your claim, whether it be the result of a Car Accident Claim, 18 Wheeler Injury, or, Alabama Workers' Compensation Claim. At your Initial Strategy Session, you will receive the following:

  • First - I will listen to your story. You will have a chance to tell everything to someone who wants to hear what happened to you.
  • Based on the information that you provide, I will give you my best advice on both what claims you have, and the next steps you should consider to proceed with your claim(s).
  • If your claim is something that I think I can help you with, I will explain the services that I can provide for you, and what the next steps are that we should take. We will start working immediately.
  • If your matter is something that I do not think I can help you with, then I will attempt to put you in contact with another lawyer that might be able to help you.
  • Either way, what should happen is we will put to rest some of the unkowns that you may be experiencing. We will start to shed some light on what you can expect, and how to best pursue the benefits you deserve.

Contingency Fees | Alabama Car Accidents

Claims for damages, or negligence claims, are taken on a contingency fee structure, which means you don't have to pay me anything out-of-pocket. Contingency fee rates are set on a case-by-case basis. I typically cover expenses for you on the front-end on the condition that you pay me back out of your recovery. We will not have an attorney-client relationship until we both agree on the terms, but, any communication between us will still be protected as priviledged communication, even if we do not come to an agreement.



Don't delay getting the recovery you deserve! Contact us today for your free Strategy Session!

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