How to Decrease the Time to Resolve a Personal Injury Case

Last updated on: March 24, 2023

In this episode, Zinda Law Group CEO and founder, Jack Zinda, gives you steps for decreasing the resolve time for a personal injury lawsuit.

Discussed in this episode:
•    Maximize your value in the least amount of time possible
•    Create a timeline
•    Pre-planning
•    How to get around insurance company tactics

Maximize your value in the least amount of time possible
In solving a personal injury case, your objective should be to maximize the case value in the least amount of time possible. This doesn’t mean that the case should get tried sooner than it should be or that you should settle for the sake of time and walk away with less money. Rather, this means that you should look for opportunities to decrease the amount of time each aspect of the case takes.

Create a Timeline
In order to accomplish this, you should create a case timeline. Within two weeks, you should establish what happened, liability, and the source of recovery in addition to discerning how catastrophic a client’s injuries are. After you file the lawsuit, make sure you have a deadline to get the defendant served and measure how long each inflection point of the case should take.

Before voicing your client’s demands, you need to know 1) what the case is worth, 2) what monetary number an insurance company or entity can initially offer that will indicate they are not serious about compensation, and 3) what monetary number an insurance company or entity can initially offer that will be acceptable.

How to get around insurance company tactics
Insurance companies use tactics to slow down personal injury cases such as hiring overworked law firms and utilizing their own company lawyers. To get around these tactics, you should point out to the judge the logic behind them. Insurance companies also tend to ask judges for extended expert designation deadlines in addition to intentionally not scheduling depositions ahead of time. The way around these tactics is to send letters reminding the defendant of upcoming deadlines. With these reminders in place, judges are less likely to grant extensions.


Jack Zinda (00:10):
Welcome to The Effective Lawyer, a podcast for ambitious attorneys who want to improve their practice. My name is Jack Zinda and I’ll be your host.

Kevin Tully (00:22):
Welcome to the Effective Lawyer Podcast. My name is Kevin Tully. I’m the Chief Marketing Officer at Zinda Law Group, and with me as always is Jack Zinda. Today we’re going to be talking about how to decrease the time to resolve a personal injury case. Jack, where do you want to kick it off with this topic?

Jack Zinda (00:38):
Hey, Kevin. Good to see you, man. This topic I’m very passionate about because I think there’s so many lawyers in law firms that sit on cases too long and it doesn’t, it hurts their clients, but it also hurts their bottom line because they’re missing opportunities to generate revenue for themselves and also cases get worse with time. So the first thing I want to say is you need to look at your objective is to maximize your value in the least amount of time possible. Now, that doesn’t mean you settle a case sooner than it should be settled, or try a case sooner than it should be tried. And it also doesn’t mean you take less money if a case could resolve sooner rather than later. But what you’re looking for is those opportunities to squeeze the timeline down. And the first thing that I like to do, or that I did when I started my firm is I made an a template for what is the typical timeline that a case should take.
And so for example, we have a policy, we sign up the case, we want to establish what happened, liability without the client’s testimony within two weeks. That means gathering enough evidence that we can prove what we think happened, happened. Now, you can’t do that in every case. And again, this is why it’s a template. So that gives us that small window of two weeks. We also want to establish what is the source of recovery and then how roughly hurt do we think the client is? Is it a catastrophic injury? Is it just a serious injury? And so that’s our first timeline. The next is we look at, okay, in general, a client’s gonna treat for three to six months if it’s a moderate injury case. And so we’ll look at that initial treating period as a three to six month timeline. And I’m using a hypothetical in a smaller case here, if it was a more catastrophic case, we’ll talk about those in a second.
And so again, we already have two milestones. We have two weeks and we have three to six months in our firm. We have a rule. We either want a case in litigation, or a demand out, or we have a reason we’re intentionally not doing it. But you notice that word intentional. A lot of law firms just like cases sit and there’s no intentionality behind it. So now let’s say instead of two weeks, it took 12 weeks. Why just added 10 weeks to the timeframe that it’s gonna take me to resolve the case on the back end. So we just added time to that gap. Another trick that you want to, or tactic, is as you’re establishing that template and that timeline you want to make sure that when you file the lawsuit, you have a deadline to get the person served.
I’ve gotten cases referred to me where our suit was filed and it’s been 3, 4, 5, 6 months till the defendant got served, which again, you just added time to yourself. Another theme is you want to make sure that you’re pre-planning what your strategy is going to be when you send a demand, and then pre-planning your strategy when you file the lawsuit. So what do I mean by pre-planning? So when I send a demand, I’m going to evaluate the case fully, what do I think it’s worth? And then what are my first three moves of negotiation of the negotiation tactic? What is the number where if they offer this, I’m gonna know they’re not serious about settling it? And what is the number where I’m going to accept the offer? And by pre-planning that what I’ve done is I’ve ensured I’m going to be decisive When the offer comes in, a lot of times an attorney will get an offer.
They haven’t decide what the cases were, so they have to then decide that, but they’re at the same time, they’re really busy that week. They have 3, 4, 5 depos, then they have mediation next week, then they trial the week after that. And before you note it, it’s been a month and a half and you haven’t even addressed an offer, which is money that could be potentially sitting there. When I file the lawsuit, I’m going to map out every step that I need to take from trial back to the suit being filed in detail. Now that takes time, right? That’s not going to happen in five minutes. It may take you an hour, two hours to put that together, but I just have my roadmap now. So now I can delegate work to my team that they know when we get an answer. We’re going to set this deposition, we’re going to send this round of discovery, we’re going to get this hearing set If I’m in federal court. If I’m in Colorado, a case management conference and I’m not trying to decide on the fly what to do, which again creates delay because you have this, this information gap, you’re like, oh, what should I do here? Should I do this? Should I not do that? And you’ll miss your artificial timelines cuz you’re in the hurricane of your day-to-day practice.

Speaker 3 (05:44):
This podcast is presented by Zinda Law Group, a nationwide personal injury firm. For over 10 years, the experienced lawyers at ZLG have been partnering with outside counsel across the United States on all types of personal injury and wrongful death cases with over 30 attorneys. Zinda Law Group has paid out millions in referral and joint venture fees since 2015. To learn more about partnering with Zinda Law Group, please email us at We’ll schedule a time for you to meet with Jack Zinda or one of our trial lawyers to discuss your case.

Jack Zinda (06:23):
The other piece is you have to look at every file once a month and not just glance at it, you need to review the case. What are the next steps? Do I need to adjust my strategy? And then what are the things that are going to need to happen to, to get the case to trial or to make sure that the case gets resolved. We also like to, if it’s a medical record case, not a wrongful death case, we’d like to get the medical records as soon as possible. For example, hospitals take the longest over request those right away. If it’s an ambulance, kind of the same thing there. And we have a dedicated team that focuses just on getting records because that can be a repetitive task that people can get really good at if that’s all they do.
So that efficiency there makes a lot of sense cuz you don’t need a lot of strategy. That changes case to case on that front. And then we measure each of the different milestones to see how are we doing, how’s the team doing, and how am I doing individually? And then we compare those data points. Let’s say one attorney, it takes nine months to get a case resolved in litigation and another attorney takes 19 months. Now there might be a good reason for that. Maybe you’re in federal court on really complicated cases, or maybe you just aren’t doing a good job in strategizing the file. But that data point gives us something to work off of. And there’s a term that people use this as if you measure it, you can manage it. And so we measure not only the time to resolve ourselves, but we measure the individual inflection points to see how those are going. So to recap, the big things that you want to focus on are, number one, pre-planning each inflection point. You know, the demand stage when you first get the case file on the lawsuit, review the file every single month, measure how long the different inflection points should take, and then constantly tweak your approach to see if you can improve that over time.

Kevin Tully (08:27):
So you mentioned at the top that cases get worth worse with time and I’m sure the defense is aware of that. So what are the ways that they typically try to slow you down and how do you overcome those?

Jack Zinda (08:39):
First there’s one tactic that I see a lot of insurance companies use is they will hire law firms that are overworked and give them three, 400 cases and pay them a low flat rate to work on those cases. And then it gives the attorney an excuse say, well, I can’t possibly have that deposition because I have eight that day. So that’s one tactic that I see. They intentionally overload a firm. So the firm can say, I can’t appear at this deposition. The way you overcome that is if it’s what’s called a captive law firm, they’re owned by the insurance company or if it’s a high volume firm, you point that out to the judge when you file a motion to compel and say, listen, your Honor, you know, we think Ms. Defense attorney is a great person, but by her own admission she has 400 files.
And if State Farm wants, you know, to have a lawyer, they need to make sure they have an attorney that has the time to work on this case. It’s not fair to penalize our client because they’re intentionally doing this. And you point out to the judge the logic behind it, they get to hang onto their money longer. And that’s why they gave this attorney 400 cases that a lot of times will get the job done. But you’ve got to make sure that you’re paying attention to that and you don’t let the defense move those goalposts down the road. So that’s one tactic. Another one that I see is the expert designation deadlines and the discovery deadlines. So what they’ll do with the expert designation deadlines is they’ll wait till the last minute and say, Hey, I can’t get my expert lined up. Can you give me a 60 day, 90 day extension?
One way to avoid that is make sure you get your experts designated way in advance of the deadline and then send letters asking them for their experts saying, Hey, hey, we’ve done discovery. I need your experts. I need your experts. I want to make sure we’re not going to need to grant an extension. I need your experts. And that makes it less likely the judge is going to grant it. And if they do, make sure that you either get them to agree that they won’t ask for another one or go to court and get the judge to understand that another one shouldn’t be granted for certain reasons. On the discovery deadline front, one thing that they’ll do a lot of times is intentionally not set depositions that are critical to the case like your client, and then try to set it a week before the deadline and then try to make you look like you’re not agreeing to a date.
So try to preplan that and think ahead of time. Okay. They need my client’s deposition, so I’m going to start sending letters to them. Hey, let me know when you take their deposition. You know, discovery deadline’s coming up in 120 days, in 90 days in 60 days, in 30 days. And so then when they go before the court and say, your Honor, I sent them nine letters telling them that it was upcoming. They didn’t set it and they asked for the date a week before the deadline that that’s not fair to then delay the case because of this. Now, most of the time a judge is probably still going to grant their extension, but you’ve really set ’em up to not get that second extension that they’re gonna want.

Kevin Tully (11:51):
Wow. There’s tons of great information in there. Thanks so much for, for answering all the questions, Jack. Where can folks reach you if they have any questions on this topic?

Jack Zinda (12:01):
Yeah, if you want to know about this or anything else we’d love to share. I’m a big believer in rising tide raises all ships. You can reach me at or email me at Really complicated email address. If you are a marketing vendor, please do not spam me with your emails . Thanks all.

Kevin Tully (12:21):
Thanks Jack.

Speaker 3 (12:27):
Thanks for listening to today’s episode of The Effective Lawyer. You can learn more about our team and find other episodes of our podcast at As always, we’d appreciate that you subscribe, rate and review the pod. Thanks.