How long does it take to file a lawsuit

Updated on October 23, 2021 | by Benjamin Garfield

how long does it take to file a lawsuit

Did you know that approximately 40 million lawsuits are filed each year in the United States? Lawsuits are complicated and take time to come to fruition. There are many hoops that need to be jumped through along the way.

Are you getting sued by someone and need to find the right attorney to help you fight back? Maybe you want to sue another party for negligence and hoping to get compensation for your pain.

No matter what reason you have, you will need a lawyer. You might be dreading the whole process as you have never even needed a lawyer before.

Plus, you might be asking yourself “How long does it take to file a lawsuit? Read on to find out.

The Basic Timeline

Every state’s statutes are different. So, depending on where you live, timelines may vary. However, here we’ll rundown a general timeframe for how long your lawsuit might take.

When you hire an attorney, they can guide you through these signs during the process.

  1. First, you’ll need to file a civil action, and it needs to be officially commenced by filing a summon.
  2. Then, the defendant has three weeks to respond or comply with the summon. If the defendant doesn’t answer within the allotted time, the court might simply make a judgment right there.
  3. In that case, your lawsuit will probably take about months. But this doesn’t always happen. If the defendant does respond, both parties will then exchange pertinent information regarding the case.
  4. The case will be prepared to go to trial, and a trial date is set. In some cases, both parties involved may come to an agreement or settlement before the court date. This saves not only time but costs as well. Costs such as court fees and hours billed by the lawyers. In that case, the process might take 4-6 months, depending on how busy the system is in our area.
  5. If the case does go to trial, either party can elect a jury to hear the case, which adds time to the process. After the case is decided, either party can appeal, which can take forever.

It’s tough to tell, “How long does it take to file a lawsuit” but, you can expect it to take anywhere from six months to several years.

Common Types of Lawsuits

The most common types of lawsuits are personal injury claims. Lawsuits such as slip and falls, auto accident, and discrimination or wrongful termination claims. Personal injury lawsuits can also fall into the car accident lawsuit category.

With personal injury lawsuits, you should get a lawyer who specializes in those types of cases. They can be complicated, and it’s tough dealing with insurance companies and healthcare facilities during a car accident claim.

How Long Does It Take to File a Lawsuit?

If you’re lucky, a lawsuit could only take three months. But, it will more than likely take six months minimum, and it’s very likely to take at least a year or more. “How long does it take to file a lawsuit? Too long is probably the best answer.

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