Hello. My name is Roger Ghai and I’m a lawyer in Kennesaw, Georgia. I handle the car accidents and trucking accident cases here in Kennesaw, Acworth, Marietta, and Atlanta and wanted to discuss an important question as to why the cases take so long to resolve.
First thing is that most of the time we do try to resolve the cases without filing, automatically filing a lawsuit overall. Many times as the best result for all parties involved. But when that can’t happen, sometimes we have to actually file a lawsuit because maybe the insurance company is not offering fair compensation for your case. In that case, we have to file a lawsuit and sometimes even actually try the case before a jury. So all that takes quite some time.
For example, if we have to file a lawsuit, then the lawsuit actually has to be served on the defendant, by the sheriff or a private investigator, and that will start to trigger a bunch of other time deadlines that will come into play. So, many times if the defendant has moved away or can’t be located, we have to hire an investigator to find where the defendant has moved to and get him or her served. That process could take 60, 90 days, six months. We don’t know, depending on where the person has moved or if they’ve gone underground. But the law requires that we actually serve a copy of the complaint and other documents upon the defendant himself or herself personally.
Now in the state of Georgia, that will trigger the first rule, which is what we call the discovery rule. What that means is that there’s six months for each party, each side, to discover more facts about the case; the strengths and the weaknesses of the case. So in Georgia, six months from the time that the defendant was served with the lawsuit is how long we have to find out those things.
Now, sometimes depending on the complexity of the case or the schedule of the attorneys, there might be an extension. It’s very common for there to be an extension of discovery to nine months or 12 months. So as you see, we’ve already spent about 15 months just trying to find the defendant, locate the defendant, serve the defendant, and then engage in the process of the actual discovery itself.
What do I mean by discovery? Generally speaking, like I said, it is a process whereby each side gets to learn a little bit about the everyone else has of the case and after that is done, after all that is completely done, then finally one party can ask the court to place the case on the trial calendar.
Now, once the case gets placed on the court’s docket, the trial calendar, it’s not a quick resolve, even from that point. Sometimes it could remain on the court docket, on the judge’s calendar, for six months or a year, just because of the sheer number of cases that the judge has.
So before we undertake litigation, that is filing of lawsuit, we have to consider whether the time value of money is worth actually pursuing the case, or whether it’s just better to take the sum that’s on the table right now versus spending additional money and then also having not a guaranteed outcome.
So each case is truly different. Each case has to be evaluated on its merits and if you have questions about the process or why it’s taking your lawyer to get the case resolved so long, I hope that you found this video is someone explanatory that the lawyers hands, his or her hands, are often tied by the statutory time deadlines.
If you have a case, feel free to call me at (770) 792-1000.