Every claim is different. Some claims are more complex than others and will end up in litigation. Some plaintiffs have complex injuries that take a long time to heal, if they heal at all. Probably most importantly, some defendants and their lawyers are open to settling the claim early in litigation. Some defendants don't want to do that and instead want to test the claim in discovery or at trial.
Which court the case was filed in is also important for determining how long your claim may take. For instance, personal injury cases with a value less than $50,000 can be filed in General District Court. Cases in General District Court generally can be tried before a judge within six to eight months of the filing date. Personal injury cases that have a higher value (above $50,000) need to be filed in the Circuit Courts. This is where jury trials take place. Because of the discovery process, cases filed in Circuit Court take a much longer time to be resolved. This is especially true in a post-COVID world.
In some circumstances, the federal courts may have jurisdiction over your personal injury claim. The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia is known as the “Rocket Docket” for how quickly the cases that are filed there move to trial. The United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia also moves its docket quickly, although it does not have the same speedy reputation as the Eastern District.