For any lawsuit, the number of essential steps that are part of the legal process remains equal to the number of steps in all lawsuits. Still, the length of each case could differ from one case to the next.
Filing of a complaint by victim of accident. That step takes less than on day. After the step’s completion, the victim has become a plaintiff. The plaintiff serves a copy of the complaint on the defendant. This step’s length varies, and depends on the defendant’s location, with respect to the plaintiff’s home. The defendant answers the complaint. There is a non-essential step that could precede the offer of an answer.
The holding of a discovery session: That is where the 2 sides exchange their evidence. Each session last 2-3 months or more. Following the discovery session, either side could prolong the process by filing for a summary judgment. By the same token, either side could shorten the process by agreeing to settle with the opposing party.
If the discovery session has not encouraged creation of a settlement, a trial takes place. That trial normally continues for less than one week. After the reading of the verdict, any number of appeals could be made by either side. If pursued, that possibility might cause the entire process to extend over a period of years.
Review of the non-essential steps
Before answering a served complaint, a defendant could file a motion to dismiss. If the judge were to grant that same motion, then the process would come to an abrupt end. Before a trial had been scheduled, either party could file a motion for a summary judgment, as per the personal injury lawyer in Naperville.
Times when the process might become shorter
That would be any point along the series of steps that follow the filing of a complaint. In fact, the opposing parties could even decide to settle their differences before the plaintiff had filed a complaint. A settlement could take place before or after the discovery session. In addition, it could take place during any stage of the courtroom trial.
What might cause the 2 sides to settle, instead of proceeding with the lawsuit?
Sometimes the exchange of evidence that takes place during the discovery session has demonstrated the strength of one party’s case, or the weakness in a different party’s case. If such a situation were to develop, then the party with the decidedly weaker case would have good reason to settle.
Think what could happen if the same party did not agree to a settlement. In that case, the jury would decide on the size of the plaintiff’s court-ordered award. A settlement agreement would have the ability to save the defendant a fair amount of money.