A Timeline for Personal Injury Lawsuits — How Long Does it Take? Pt. 2

In our last post, we outlined the early stages of filing a personal injury claim, all the way up to the point of bringing a lawsuit to court. Ideally, it won’t get this far, and you will be able to settle out of court — however, it doesn’t always work out that way. The infographic below will give you an overview of the timeline of a personal injury lawsuit once a lawsuit has been filed. Once reviewed, continue reading below for more information on each step:

Filing the Lawsuit

As we stated in our last post, filing the lawsuit gets the ball rolling in regards to figuring out how long the rest of the process will take. Once a lawsuit has been filed, it can take as long as two years for the case to reach trial — but again, this will depend on how long the different stages of the lawsuit take. The first step is the discovery process.

Discovery Process

The discovery process is when both parties investigate each other’s claims/legal defenses. Various documents and questions will be exchanged between the lawyers on both sides of the lawsuit. The discovery process can last anywhere from six months to one year, depending on how complex your particular case is and the court’s priorities at the time. 

Mediation & Negotiation

The mediation stage of the lawsuit is when the lawyers on both sides try to settle the case in the presence of a third-party “mediator.” Sometimes, a settlement can be reached without going to mediation, but it will be necessary in many cases. In the video below, you’ll see how lawyers strategically negotiate to obtain the best outcome for their client:


If mediation doesn’t work, it’s time for the case to go to trial. The length of a trial for personal injury can take anywhere from one day to a week, or perhaps even longer in cases that are more complex. Keep in mind that your trial may not occur on the original date that it is scheduled for — when the judge’s schedule shifts due to cases of higher priority, your personal injury lawsuit may get pushed back. 

How Long Does it Take to Get a Personal Injury Settlement Check?

As long as everything works out smoothly, it should take roughly six weeks for you to receive a settlement check for personal injury claims. However, some speed bumps may occur. Be sure to contact the personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Darwin F. Johnson if there is a delay in receiving your settlement check.