Interviewer: How long, on average, can these cases take?
Typically, You Must Settle a Case or File a lawsuit within 2 Years of the Date of the Accident
Harry Williams: For the typical injury case in Illinois, let me talk about the statute of limitation. Typically, you have to either settle an injury case or file a lawsuit against the at fault driver within two years of the accident. If there’s treatment that goes on for more than 18 months, then I need to be talking to my client about filing a lawsuit to protect their rights.
If You Do Not Abide by the 2-Year Statute of Limitations, You Are Barred from Collecting Money
I don’t want to wait till month 23 to file a lawsuit. I want to file a lawsuit a lot earlier to protect my client’s rights. If I don’t settle the case within two years and we don’t file a lawsuit against the at fault party, then they’re barred from collecting any money. They lose all their rights.
On Average, Cases Involving Soft Tissue Injuries Take 6 to 18 Months to Resolve, Depending on the Extent of Injuries and Other Factors
Your question was how long does a typical case take? Well, if somebody is injured, every case is a different situation. If there is an injury to their muscles, the ones they call a soft tissue injury, torn ligaments, torn muscles, then the typical course of treatment is anywhere from 6 months to 18 months. Now that’s a ballpark.
It depends on every case, but it can be more, it can be a little less. Usually, if they’re going to need treatment, if they’re going to need physical therapy or chiropractic treatment, you will go at least six months and probably quite a bit longer.
While Most People Prefer to Settle Their Cases, Your Attorney Will Advise You on When It Is Time to File a Lawsuit
There are times where if the injury is bad enough and it appears as though treatment is going to go on for 18 months or two years, I may talk to my client about just filing the lawsuit now rather than later. If we’re not going to be able to be done with treatment and to have enough time to order records and get the case settled before the two years is up, I’d rather file the lawsuit now and get that ball rolling.
I’d prefer to settle my cases, because my clients would prefer to settle cases. The typical person has a fear of the courtroom. They don’t want the hassle of it. It’s unknown to them what’s going to happen in a courtroom. They would prefer not to get involved in having to testify or being in a court case.
I’m aware of that. I’d rather settle their case for them if we can get a fair compensation for them, but sometimes we have to file the lawsuit. Of course, I counsel my clients the whole way. I mean, coach them through the whole process so it’s not as painful as they think it’s going to be.