Most people know that a lawsuit stemming from an auto accident can be a long, drawn-out affair. Especially if a case goes to trial, there are lengthy periods of discovery and case prep, as well as the actual courtroom proceedings, which can take a lot of time and can be extremely complicated.
The question arises: Why are these cases so difficult to resolve sometimes? A perfect example comes from a recent tragic accident. 5 NBCDFW online reports that a pedestrian was killed recently in an automobile accident. The interesting closing mentioned that “the investigation is ongoing.” If a car hit the pedestrian and the pedestrian died, the case seems fairly obvious on the surface. So, why would there be more time needed?
The complications in motor vehicle accident litigation
A few common causes for delays in the litigation process can include:
- Complicated fact patterns: While the case in question is clear that the pedestrian was hit by a vehicle, it is possibly a hit and run. There could have been more than one driver involved. The pedestrian could have run out into the street, resulting in questionable liability.
- Motivated defendants: No one wants to lose a personal injury lawsuit. The party being sued and their insurance company will do everything possible to stall and fight the case, which can add significant time to the proceedings.
- Multiple parties responsible: In some cases, the party who seems to be at fault is not alone in their liability. Perhaps a poorly maintained road caused the driver to swerve or another driver veered into the lane and caused the accident. It takes time to do accident reconstruction work and get all the details straight in determining who is responsible for an accident.
- Medical delays: Some cases involve serious, even catastrophic, injuries. Especially in pedestrian accident claims or truck accident litigation, it can take a lot of time for the injured parties to recover enough to handle a court case. It also takes some time to determine conclusively the full extent of these injuries.
- Crowded courts: Every case that proceeds to litigation finds itself at the mercy of the court schedules. Our courts have been overbooked for years now, and the aftermath of the pandemic means that the backlog is worse than usually. Cases often take a long time simply because of the wait involved with getting into court.
These are just a few of the common causes for lengthy, drawn-out accident cases. An experienced auto accident lawyer can do things to speed up the process.
Although these cases can take some time, obtaining compensation is critical for the families of parties injured or killed in accidents. It is worth the wait and the effort to obtain compensation for the losses and damages suffered.