How long does a child injury claim take?

The length of time it takes to resolve a claim or lawsuit for an injured child can differ drastically from case to case. If there are relatively minor damages and fault is easily established then the claim may be resolved in six (6) months or less. However, if the claim involves catastrophic injuries, a deceased child, medical malpractice, birth injuries, defective product, or difficult liability then the case can take several years. A civil lawsuit is initiated by filing a Petition and the party being sued has twenty (20) days to file an answer. Next, the parties begin the longest part of the case, the discovery phase, which includes both sides gathering the information, evidence, testimony, and proof needed to present its case to a jury. This phase can take anywhere from six months to several years. After the parties have gathered the evidence and taken witness statements and testimony they will prepare and present the case to a judge in order to resolve as many legal issues as possible, called dispositive motions or motions for summary judgment. Thereafter, the case may go to formal a settlement meeting called a mediation. If the case is not resolved at the dispositive motions or a mediation it will be taken to trial. Trials can take anywhere from several days to several weeks.