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While there’s no concrete answer to how long a lawsuit process might take in court, US cases take over a year on average, and cases running 5 or more years are not unheard of. The load of cases before state courts has increased over time, and staffing has not. Statistically, most litigation is not completed by a court decision, but settled out of court. How long cases take to reach settlement is also unpredictable. Mediation and arbitration are common routes to settle outside litigation. In mediation, the parties engage an independent 3rd party to facilitate settlement – but settlement is typically voluntary. In arbitration, the parties agree to be heard by an independent, qualified arbitrator, and to abide by the decision of the arbitrator.