Once your personal injury lawsuit reaches the discovery phase, you’ll need to know, “Just how long does the discovery process take?” The discovery process typically lasts anywhere from six months to a year. However, it can last even longer, depending on factors like the complexity of your case and the amount of evidence to be reviewed.

How Does the Discovery Process Work?

The discovery process starts after the initial court documents have been filed. During this process, all the parties involved in the lawsuit share evidence and information relevant to the case, such as medical records, surveillance footage, and police reports.

Components of the Discovery Process in a Chicago Personal Injury Case

The four components of the discovery process include:

  • Interrogatories: These are written questions sent from one party to another to answer.
  • Requests for production: These are formal requests for documents.
  • Requests for admission: These involve one party requesting another party to admit or deny a particular fact.
  • Depositions: Depositions are out-of-court interviews where parties question each other. A court reporter is present in a deposition and creates a written transcript of everything said.

The information revealed during discovery can help the involved parties negotiate a fair settlement and prevent the case from proceeding to trial. You should be thorough and diligent during each phase of the process, which makes it essential to consult a personal injury lawyer before filing discovery in Chicago.

Factors Impacting the Duration of the Discovery Process

The discovery process can take several months to complete. The length of the phase varies from case to case. Your personal injury attorney can estimate the duration of the discovery phase of your lawsuit more accurately.

Some factors that can impact the length of your lawsuit’s discovery process include:

Complexity of the Case

The complexity of your case is a contributor to the duration of the discovery phase. The phase tends to last longer for more complex cases.

Volume of Evidence

Based on how causation works in an injury case, the quality of the evidence affects your ability to prove causation. On the other hand, it’s the quantity of evidence that mainly affects the discovery process. The more the volume of evidence, the longer the time the attorneys on both sides may need to review documentation.

The number, demeanor, and preparedness of witnesses are also factors. The more the witnesses, the longer the discovery process may take. Uncooperative witnesses may also slow down the process.