FAQ: How Long Does An Auto Accident Lawsuit Take?

Auto Accident Lawsuit Process & Tips

Auto Accident Lawsuit Process and Filing Information

Question: How long does an auto accident lawsuit take?

Answer: The duration varies depending on factors such as the complexity of the case, severity of injuries, and cooperation of the other party’s insurance.

There is no standard timeline, but having an experienced lawyer may be able to streamline the process.

On this page, we’ll discuss this question in further depth, the auto accident lawsuit process, who qualifies to file an auto accident lawsuit, and much more.

Intro to the Legal Process in Auto Accident Lawsuits

The aftermath of a car accident can leave a physical and emotional toll on you and your family.

For this reason, the car accident attorneys at TorHoerman Law understand the importance of a timely but fair settlement of your car accident lawsuit.

However, exactly how long does the car accident lawsuit process take?

Unfortunately, there’s no clear-cut answer to this question.

The car accident lawsuit timeline can vary from one claimant to the next, depending on several factors.

Auto Accident Lawsuit; Car Accident Lawsuit; Car Accident Lawyers

These factors can include the severity of the claimant’s injuries, the complexity of the case, and the amount of evidence available to confirm your claims.

The willingness of the other driver’s insurance company to cooperate with the settlement process can also shorten or lengthen the lawsuit process.

Besides this, you can expect the timeline to lengthen if your car accident case goes to a court trial.

In short, there is no set timeline for car accident lawsuits.

Nevertheless, enlisting the services of an experienced car accident lawyer can mean the difference between a swift car accident settlement and a drawn-out personal injury claim.

We are here for you if you need an attorney that fights on your behalf for a fair auto accident settlement.

Contact TorHoerman Law for a free consultation.

You can also use the chatbot on this page to find out if you qualify for a Car Accident Lawsuit instantly.

Frequently Asked Questions

The duration varies depending on factors such as the complexity of the case, severity of injuries, and cooperation of the other party’s insurance.

There is no standard timeline, but having an experienced lawyer may be able to streamline the process.

The main steps include initial consultation, filing the complaint, serving the defendant, the discovery phase, settlement negotiations, and, if necessary, a court trial and verdict.

More intricate cases with multiple parties, extensive damages, or complex legal details tend to take longer due to the need for detailed investigations, expert testimonies, and multiple rounds of negotiations.

Yes, having comprehensive evidence like medical records, employment documents, and a police report will help expedite the process, providing a clearer picture of the accident and your incurred damages.


If the other party’s insurance company is willing to provide a fair settlement quickly, your case can conclude sooner.

However, disputes or lowball offers might prolong the case.

This could extend the timeline. Disputed claims often require additional negotiations or evidence presentations.

If no agreement is reached, the case may proceed to trial, further extending the timeline.

An experienced attorney can provide effective settlement negotiation, ensure comprehensive documentation, prepare for trial, and offer representation on a contingency fee basis, streamlining the entire process and increasing your chances of a favorable outcome.

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Table of Contents

An Overview of the Auto Accident Lawsuit Process

When you’re seeking compensation and justice after a car accident, it’s important to understand the step-by-step process of a lawsuit.

Here’s an overview of what to expect when you file a car accident or personal injury lawsuit process:

  1. Initial consultation and case evaluation
  2. Filing the complaint
  3. Serving the defendant
  4. Discovery phase
  5. Settlement offer negotiations
  6. Court trial and verdict

By knowing these steps, you’ll have a ballpark idea of how long it can take for car accident cases to resolve.

You’ll also have a better understanding of what goes into the car accident claim process.

1. Initial Consultation and Case Evaluation

The process begins with a consultation with a car accident lawyer.

During this meeting, you’ll discuss the details of the accident, the injuries you sustained, and the potential legal options available to you.

This initial evaluation helps the attorney determine the strength of your case and whether pursuing a lawsuit is advisable.

2. Filing the Complaint

If you decide to move forward, your attorney will file a formal legal document called a complaint.

This document is often in the form of a demand letter and outlines your claims, damages, the parties involved, and the legal basis for your lawsuit.

The complaint officially initiates the lawsuit and notifies the other parties that legal action has been taken.

3. Serving the Defendant

In the context of your car accident lawsuit, the defendant is the at-fault driver.

After your lawyer has identified who’s to be held liable for your injuries, your car accident attorney provides the at-fault driver with a copy of the complaint.

This will notify the driver and the driver’s legal counsel that you’re moving forward with legal action.

4. Discovery Phase

By now, you and the other driver will have prepared legal defenses and statements.

At this stage, you and the other driver now enter a part of the civil claims process known as the discovery process or phase.

During the discovery phase, you and the other driver exchange information in the presence of your attorneys.

This phase will also include recorded interviews and document requests.

5. Settlement Negotiations

Progressing along the timeline, settlement negotiations play a crucial role.

The speed at which agreements are reached impacts the timeline significantly, potentially expediting or extending the overall duration.

If the other party and the insurance company offer you fair compensation, all you need to do is accept the offer.

This will almost always immediately resolve the case.

Out-of-court negotiations are preferable to all parties involved in the proceedings.

Not only are they faster but they also cost less.

This is why most car accident lawsuits settle out of court.

However, if the other party and insurer have issues with the damages you’ve indicated, they may dispute your claim or escalate matters to a court trial.

When either of these happens, you can expect the timeline of your car accident lawsuit to be pushed further.

6. Court Trial and Verdict

If talks don’t work out, then it’s time to get ready for a trial.

An experienced car accident lawyer will meticulously prepare everything you need for a trial, from evidence to statements.

During the jury trial, your attorney will also cross-examine the defendant and make compelling arguments that will strengthen your case.

When the trial is over, a decision is made.

This can either wrap things up neatly or open the door to more steps, like an appeal.

This final part is like the ending of a story, and it decides how long your car accident case will go on.

Damages You Can Claim After Your Car Accident

After a car accident, the path to recovery involves more than just physical healing.

The financial and emotional toll can be substantial, and this is where the concept of “damages” comes into play.

Damages are the losses you’ve incurred as a result of the accident, and they form the basis for seeking compensation and justice.

By knowing how much your damages amount to, your attorney can recover compensation — and ensure that the compensation is fair.

There are several types of damages, and the exact amounts will vary from one claimant to the next in most car accident lawsuits.

With that said, here are the different damages you may be able to claim when you file your auto accident lawsuit:

  1. Medical bills
  2. Property damages
  3. Lost wages
  4. Pain and suffering

Medical Bills

In the aftermath of a car accident, your medical bills may surge as your injuries may require extensive treatment and rehabilitation.

This is why one of the damages you must claim needs to be your medical expenses.

Medical expenses cover not only immediate treatment costs but also long-term care, hospital stays, surgeries, medications, and therapy needed for a full recovery.

By claiming medical expenses as part of your damages, you’ll be reimbursed for all out-of-pocket expenses you’ve incurred on the road to recovery.

Property Damage

Your vehicle might have sustained damage or even been totaled.

Property damage compensation can help cover the cost of repairs or replacement.

Remember to account for personal items inside the vehicle as well.

Lost Wages

When a car accident disrupts your daily routine, it can lead to unexpected financial challenges.

One significant aspect of these challenges is the impact on your income — your wages.

Lost wages will include the pay you missed out on due to your inability to work during your recovery period.

In most car accident cases, this type of economic damage is calculated using this formula:

  • The amount of your hourly wage multiplied by the number of hours you missed due to the accident equals your lost hourly wages.

Pain and Suffering

Besides physical injuries and financial challenges, a car accident can also leave a lasting emotional and psychological impact.

This aspect of your damages is often referred to as “pain and suffering.”

These damages recognize the unseen burden the accident has placed on your emotional and overall well-being.

Due to their subjective nature, setting a dollar amount for this type of damage can be tough.

This is why you need an attorney to properly assess your damages — whether they’re tangible or otherwise.

Factors That Can Affect the Auto Accident Settlement Timeline

Auto accident lawsuits are timely for some claimants but lengthy for others.

For you, how long your car accident lawsuit process will take depends on several factors.

Here are the factors that go into your auto accident settlement timeline:

  1. The complexity of your case
  2. The severity of your injuries
  3. Available evidence
  4. The willingness of the other party’s insurance company to give a fair settlement offer

Your Case’s Complexity

The complexity of a car accident case plays a significant role in determining how long it takes to reach a resolution.

When a case involves intricate legal details, multiple parties, or extensive damages, the process becomes more intricate and time-consuming.

The Severity of Your Injuries

The more severe your injuries, the shorter the timeline may be for your personal injury claim.

The pressing need for medical care will help expedite the process since medical treatment and rehabilitative therapy will cost a lot.

Available Evidence

Evidence can make or break the timely resolution of your case.

This is why having evidence like employment documents, medical records, and the police report will facilitate proceedings, allowing you to recover compensation sooner.

The Willingness of the Other Driver’s Insurance Provider To Give a Fair Settlement

If the other party’s insurance company offers a settlement quickly, your case will reach a timely resolution.

However, the insurance company may question your damages or dispute your rights to a claim.

This can push the timeline of your car accident lawsuit further.

How a Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You

The journey through a car accident lawsuit process can feel overwhelming, especially when factoring in the legal complexities, negotiation challenges, and necessary documentation.

Here’s where an experienced attorney comes in.

With a car accident lawyer in your corner, you can maximize the chances of a timely and fair settlement.

Here’s how an attorney can help you:

  1. Effective settlement negotiation
  2. Comprehensive documentation
  3. Trial preparedness
  4. Representation on a contingency fee basis

Effective Settlement Negotiation

Experienced car accident attorneys are skilled negotiators.

They engage in discussions with the other party’s legal representatives or insurance companies to secure a fair settlement on your behalf.

Your lawyer’s negotiation tactics aim to maximize your compensation while ensuring that your best interests are at the forefront.

Comprehensive Documentation

Properly documenting your damages is crucial for a successful outcome.

A car accident lawyer helps you gather and organize all the necessary records, from medical bills and lost wage statements to expert testimonies and police reports.

This comprehensive documentation strengthens your case and enhances the chances of a favorable resolution.

Trial Preparedness

If your case goes to a jury trial, a car accident lawyer becomes your advocate in the courtroom.

Your lawyer will prepare a compelling case, present evidence, cross-examine witnesses, and construct persuasive arguments on your behalf.

Your attorney’s trial experience ensures you’re well-represented and equipped for the legal battle.

Counsel and Representation on a Contingency Fee Basis

Many car accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if you win your case.

This arrangement removes financial barriers and aligns their interests with yours, ensuring they’re fully invested in securing the best possible outcome for you.

At TorHoerman Law, we don’t charge a cent until you win. 

Our experienced personal injury attorneys have helped victims in various lawsuits seeking damages and reparations in Illinois and Missouri.

Contact TorHoerman Law for a Free Legal Consultation

Our team understands the impact a car accident can have on your life, and we’re here to help you reclaim your future as soon as possible.

With our proven track record, legal acumen, and client-centered approach, TorHoerman Law is your trusted partner in seeking justice.

Don’t let the complexities of a car accident lawsuit deter you from pursuing the compensation you deserve.

Contact TorHoerman Law for a free consultation.

You can also use the chatbot on this page to find out if you qualify for a car accident lawsuit instantly.

Tor Hoerman

Tor Hoerman

Owner & Attorney - TorHoerman Law



Tom Lewis

TorHoerman Law was responsible for handling a medical case for our family. I was extremely impressed with their professionalism and ability to react quickly. They also did a nice job keeping us updated with the case throughout the process. This was the first time experiencing a situation like this and Tor Hoerman law did an excellent job from start to finish.

Jordan Terry

TorHoerman Law is an extraordinary law firm – a firm that truly makes the client’s best interests the primary concern. Their team of personal injury lawyers are experienced, personable, and well versed in a range of litigation areas. They are supported by a dedicated team of staff that are as equally friendly and helpful. I would recommend TorHoerman Law for any personal injury litigation needs.

Dave Woodley

All of my questions were answered quickly and in a way I could understand. Steve and the entire staff were friendly and professional.

Jordan Butler

I highly recommend this law firm! The attorneys and staff at THL worked hard, communicated every step of the process, kept me well informed at all times, and exceeded all expectations! The staff is kind, considerate, professional, and very experienced. Look no further, call now!

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Top-notch, hardworking attorneys!

Karen Hersman

A wonderful and professional legal team. They helped me when I needed expert legal representation! Thank you TorHoerman Law!

Angel Truesdale

They contacted me the next day. Very nice people!

Paul Graegin

The firm went above and beyond. Thank you for everything.