The Timeline for a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Missouri

Personal injury lawsuits are well worth the time and energy they take. If someone else’s negligence caused you to sustain an injury, you deserve to take the defendant to court and obtain financial compensation for your pain and suffering, medical costs, and lost wages. Each personal injury case is different, but you can count on this basic timeline for most of these lawsuits.

First Few Months

On the first day of your accident, seek medical attention for your injuries. Even if your injuries do not feel serious, see a doctor and get yourself checked. If you wait to see a doctor, it can hurt your chances of the jury granting you compensation – since a defendant can argue that you must not have been in too much pain if you did not go straight to a doctor. Your medical recovery can take days or months depending on the severity of your injury. While you recover, you can begin researching local personal injury attorneys.

In the first few months, the police will investigate your accident. The law firm you choose to represent you will also conduct its own investigation, which will include interviewing eyewitnesses, taking photographs of the scene of the accident, and finding a key witness to speak during the trial. In the same time period, you will also have to speak with insurance companies that want you to make a settlement without going to court. Your Kansas City personal injury lawyer can handle negotiations with insurance companies.

Months 6~12

In Missouri, the statute of limitations to file a personal injury claim differs depending on the type of claim. For negligence-based claims, such as car accidents or slips and falls, you have five years from the time of the accident to file your claim.

The timeline of your own case can vary between taking months to reach this point or years depending on the nature of your injury. A good lawyer will wait to make negotiations and demands until you have reached your Maximum Medical Improvement to know how much the case is worth. Once your lawyer decides it is time to make negotiations, he or she will begin trying to reach a settlement without going to court. If a desirable settlement is not met, your lawyer files a lawsuit with the court.

Months 12~24

After you file your case, it can take the courts in Missouri about one to two years to go to trial depending on the pretrial procedures. Once it goes to trial, you will go through the discovery process – a procedure in which both parties will investigate each other’s legal claims. You may go through a deposition, where your defendant’s attorney will ask you questions about the accident. The discovery phase can take six months to one year depending on the case’s complexity.

Months 24~30

A personal injury trial can last days or weeks depending on the factors of your case. Some courts only hold trial for half days, which can double the number of days your court case takes. Your attorney will walk you through the trial process and help you understand what is going on throughout your trial. Once the trial ends, the jury will come to a decision. This can take a few hours or a few days. If you win your case and obtain financial compensation for your injuries, you will typically receive your recovery money within 30 days of your jury verdict (or successful mediation).

Your Trusted Personal Injury Attorneys in Kansas City, MO

If someone else caused your injury, either by accident or due to negligence, you should get in touch with the personal injury attorneys at Dickerson Oxton, LLC for help. We have years of experience successfully mediating personal injury cases without going to trial as well as trial experience if your case cannot reach a satisfactory settlement during mediation. Contact us for a free consultation about your particular claim.