Taking a trucking lawsuit all the way to verdict takes an average of 18 months to 2 years.
Once the lawsuit is filed, the defendants must be served. Sometimes this can delay the process, particularly where the at-fault driver is difficult to find. After all the defendants have been served, the law provides 30 days for them to file an answer to the lawsuit. An answer sets out the defendant’s rebuttal and defenses to the suit.
When the answer is filed, the lawsuit enters into a six month “discovery” period. Discovery is the process by which each side provides the other with important information. Written discovery, consisting of requests for documents, or requests for written statements called interrogatories, are very common. Also, during this time, the parties will generally depose important witnesses, treating doctors, and the parties.
Due to the seriousness and complexity of trucking cases, the discovery period is generally extended by several months, and sometimes lasts over a year.
After discovery closes, there is generally a period of time for filing what are called, “dispositive motions.” These are the kind of motions that can dismiss a case before it even gets to trial. This phase can last several months.
After discovery and dispositive motions, cases are then placed on a trial calendar, in the order in which they arrive on the judge’s docket. Depending on the number of weeks in the judge’s trial term, and the number of cases on the docket, the case my linger on the trial calendar from severl weeks to several months.
Despite all the time it takes to get to trial, the trial itself is not quite as long. Depending on the complexity of the case, trucking trials take anywhere from 2 to 5 days, or longer.
If you or a loved one have been involved in a car or truck accident, and you have questions about how long it will take to resolve, it is very important that you speak to one of our experienced, Atlanta car accident lawyers today.