How Long Can A Personal Injury Case Last?
This would vary because cases can take a long time to go through, and it would depend on the complexity of the case, the degree of litigation and what court they were pending in.
Manhattan, Bronx and Brooklyn cases tend to take longer than they do in New York or Rockland because of higher caseloads, so judges get longer adjournments and the trial calendar is longer so there are a number of cases waiting to be tried. In the Bronx, they can take a year to two years from when someone is ready to try the case until they will actually get out to a jury because there would be so many people ahead just waiting for their day in court.
The volume of the court, medical malpractice, and products liability cases tend to involve a lot of engineering or expert issues, so they tend to take longer than some of the other car accident cases, so how long a case will take would depend on a number of factors.
What Are Some Things That Would Make A Personal Injury Case Difficult To Win?
Different facts, different versions and lack of proof would really be the main things. It would be hard to decide who is telling the truth when two different people claim that different things happened. Another problem is just bad medical documentation of an injury. Doctors, unfortunately, do not always do the best job in documenting or doing the exam that they should have done.
Another very common issue arises where someone had an injury previously and they injured the same part of the body. In those cases, the attorney would really have to get all the old medical records and compare them to what was being shown currently. If someone had an underlying degenerative condition in the back and now got an injury, so they suddenly have a herniated disk, then we would have to be able to differentiate what the prior condition was as opposed to what they have now.
In a lot of these cases we can establish that there was an underlying condition but there is now a new injury there or the old condition was made worse by the trauma which was also actionable. In these cases, the defendants will always just say that all the problems are pre-existing and this accident did not cause anything or did not do anything new, so they basically accuse the plaintiff or the injured party of trying to cash-in on an injury they already had. Knowledge in medicine becomes very important in those kinds of cases.
Is It A Guarantee Of Success If The Case Looks Good On The Client’s End?
There is never a guarantee in litigation because a lot of things can happen and an attorney can never guarantee a particular result, but from the experience we can tell people what their odds would be. I can say based on experience that someone would have a good chance of winning or it looked like a very strong case, but we can never give a guarantee.
Is There Any Advice For Anyone Looking To Pursue Their Personal Injury Case?
Someone who felt wronged would definitely need to speak to a competent attorney. It never hurts to talk to a lawyer and the longer someone sits on something, the harder it would become. Cases do sometimes take time to go through, and as the time passes by, the person’s memory would fade so they should really get things documented sooner rather than later, because if they waited too long, then they may lose their rights to certain benefits or anything like that.
How Can Someone Help Things Go Faster Or More Smoothly For Their Case?
They just need to be patient and follow through on the treatment that the doctor recommended. Other than that, they would just need to stay in communication with the attorneys in terms of what doctors they were seeing, where they were going and that sort of thing.
Do Clients Become Hesitant Or Discouraged During The Course Of Their Case?
Sure. Cases can sometimes take a long period of time. Too many people watch TV and expect a quick result. They see Law and Order and see that a case happens, gets appealed, goes to trial and the result happens within an hour, but it is just not like that.
Cases can take a long period of time to develop. If it has to be proven that someone was permanently injured, then we would not be able to do that until several months or even years had gone by. A lot of times someone would have had a car accident but we would not know what the injury was until it was properly diagnosed which could be months later when the doctor finally sends someone for an MRI, CAT scan or electro-diagnostic testing.
People who are hurt do not understand that things just take time, and that is normal. A lot of times, people get grilled at a deposition and they tend to get a little sad, which is part of the defendant’s tactics to try and delay and try to aggravate the people into giving up.
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