Timeline of a Personal Injury Case in New York

Day 1

Investigation

Your personal injury lawyer immediately begins investigating the accident, insurance coverage, and sends claim letters to all parties and insurance companies

Day 1
3-6 Months after accident

Medical Treatment

When medical treatment is completed or you received sufficient treatment, your lawyer will request your medical records

3-6 Months after accident
3-12 Months after accident

Possible Settlement

If your injury is established and negligence can be determined, your lawyer will send your medical records to the insurance company and see if your case can be settled

3-12 Months after accident
3-12 Months after accident

If You
Refuse the Settlement Offer

A lawsuit is started by filing a Summons & Complaint in NYS Supreme Court

3-12 Months after accident
30 days after lawsuit filed

Answer

The defense attorney serves an Answer to the Complaint

30 days after lawsuit filed
3-6 months after lawsuit filed

Preliminary Conference

A Preliminary Conference Order is issued by the court scheduling a timeline for everything to be done on your case

3-6 months after lawsuit filed
3-6 months after lawsuit filed

Discovery

Each side exchanges documents, photos, and information with the other side about the accident, insurance, and injuries

3-6 months after lawsuit filed
Before or after your deposition

Surveillance

If the insurance company uses an investigator to get video of you, it is likely to happen sometime before or after your deposition

Before or after your deposition
5-12 months after lawsuit filed

Depositions

Plaintiff and defendant are asked questions by the opposing attorney at a deposition in an office setting. Questions and answers are recorded by a court reporter

5-12 months after lawsuit filed
7-14 months after lawsuit filed

Compliance Conference

A Compliance Conference is held by the court to make sure everything was done. If not, depositions and a defense medical exam is scheduled again

7-14 months after lawsuit filed
30-60 days after your deposition

Defense Medical Exam

The plaintiff (you) attends a medical examination by a defense doctor who will testify at trial

30-60 days after your deposition
2 weeks-2 months after Defense Medical Exam

Possible Settlement

This is a time when a settlement is possible because the insurance company now knows what their doctor says and your case is finished

2 weeks-2 months after Defense Medical Exam

Certification Conference

This conference is to make sure everything has been completed and give permission to file a “Note of Issue” which puts your case on the trial calendar

12-30 Months after accident

Trial Calendar

A “Note of Issue” is filed to put your case on the trial calendar

12-30 Months after accident
30-48 Months after accident

Waiting & More Conferences!

Your case will be on the trial calendar for 18-24 months (approx. 2 months if you’re over age 70 or have a terminal illness)! Many more conferences are held requiring only the attorneys to appear in court

30-48 Months after accident
6 months to days before trial

Possible Settlement

If not yet settled, cases are almost always settled now because both the insurance company and plaintiff start getting nervous about going to trial

6 months to days before trial
2-5 years after accident

Trial

A jury is picked and your trial starts which can last 1-2 weeks

2-5 years after accident

Possible Settlement

Your case may be settled after picking a jury and before the trial starts. Even after a trial has begun, cases are sometimes settled in the middle of trial

Day of trial to a few days after

Possible Settlement

The defense will frequently offer a settlement lower than the jury verdict and threaten to file an appeal if not settled (we usually refuse settlement offers lower than the jury verdict)

Day of trial to a few days after
up to 30 days after trial

Appeal Filed

If your case isn’t settled immediately after trial, the defense may file an appeal to see if you’re willing to settle for less than the jury verdict (see why below)

up to 30 days after trial
4-7 years after the accident

Appeal

If the case is not settled, the appeal takes another 1-2 years. Lawyers never include legal fees for appeal in the original retainer. The legal fee may now be increased from 33% to 50% of total recovered or by a specified dollar amount.

4-7 years after the accident

Articles Related To The Timeline of a Personal Injury Case

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