How Does a Personal Injury Case Progress?
At Krause & Kinsman, our goal is to keep you informed every step of the way while we work on your individual matter. We understand that you may have questions along the way, so we’ve designed this section to provide you with answers to some of the most common questions we receive about the different stages of a typical personal injury case. As always, if your question isn’t answered in this section, please don’t hesitate to contact us and we will be pleased to speak with you about your case.
A Missouri typical personal injury case can take 8-18 months on average
In Missouri, once we file your lawsuit with the court, a typical personal injury case can take, on average, 8-18 months before your case goes to trial. If your case is more complex, it could take longer. It’s important to keep in mind, that many cases settle out of court even if we’ve filed a lawsuit on your behalf, and a case may be settled even if the lawsuit has been filed. Below is a detailed explanation of a general personal injury case timeline:
Settlement Demand/Pre-Lawsuit Demand
In many cases we don’t want to file a lawsuit until we’ve attempted to settle your case. The settlement demand is sent to the insurance company and/or defendant. Once we’ve sent out the settlement demand, we generally give the insurance company time to respond. If the case doesn’t settle, we will then file a lawsuit.
Filing of Personal Injury Lawsuit
Once we’ve decided to go ahead with the lawsuit, we will file a Complaint with the court.
Once the lawsuit has been filed, the law requires us to notify the defendant(s) that the law suit has been filed. The Clerk of the Court will issue the summons and we will have the defendant(s) served.
Answer to Complaint
Once the defendant(s) have been served with the Summons and Complaint, they have 30 days to file an Answer to the Complaint with the court and provide us with a copy. When the Answer has been filed with the court, your case will move into the Discovery phase.
The discovery phase can consist of written Interrogatories, Requests for Production, and Request for Admissions.
Interrogatories are written questions that we are required to answer. Generally, the questions will ask your name, background information, witnesses, certain documents, etc.
Requests for Production are requests for specific documents such as medical records, other types of records, and/or physical objects.
A Request for Admissions requests us to admit specific facts or circumstances in an attempt to identify the issues that are disputed in your case.
The normal response time for Interrogatories is about 30 days. The initial round of discovery can take between 30-90 days depending on the complexity of the case.
Depositions. There are different types of depositions. Generally, they include the Plaintiff, Defendant, non-expert deposition, such as police officers, witnesses, etc., and expert witness depositions. Depositions can normally be completed within a few months depending on scheduling issues.
Trial Date/ Case Management Conference
The case docket for the courts varies from county to county, but typically it can take about 6 months after the lawsuit has been filed for the Judge assigned to the case to hold a Case Management Conference where we will appear on your behalf to discuss your case with the Judge. It’s at this time the Judge will set deadlines for certain phases of your case and a trial date.