When you hire a personal injury attorney to represent your interest, you may have little idea of what a case tends to look like as it progresses. If you're leaning toward assuming that it all looks like the trials you see on TV dramas, you're pretty far from the truth. Before you move forward with a case, it can be beneficial to look at how a personal injury attorney services firm expects a typical one to progress.
Prior to Filing
The biggest thing you want to accomplish before submitting a personal injury claim is getting all your ducks in a row. You want to have as much clear medical evidence of the extent of your injuries as possible. It's also a good idea to assemble a complete collection of names that matter in the case, such as those of defendants, witnesses, doctors, and police officers. You'll have between two and three years in most states to do all of this, so try to take your time.
Advancing a Claim
Once you have the larger picture of what your claim actually is, you will need to send paperwork to the responsible parties and their insurers. This will give them an opportunity to learn about the claim and decide whether they feel you have a basis for getting compensation.
In most states, they will have somewhere between three weeks and two months to provide a response. Legally speaking, a non-response counts as acceptance of the claim. Otherwise, a response will include an overt rejection, a counteroffer, or an outright acceptance of the claim. If a counteroffer is made, you'll have to decide whether you want to negotiate or sue.
Filing a Suit
When a claim is rejected or an offer is deemed insufficient, suing is the remaining legal remedy. Most suits do not go to trial, and they are instead frequently settled out of court.
One big advantage of suing is it opens up the discovery process. This means the responsible parties have to provide you with any evidence your personal injury attorney might request.
Such materials typically include things like surveillance camera footage, employee work schedules, and maintenance logs. The discovery process also includes taking depositions, so your lawyer can ask who knew what and when in the time leading to an incident. If something damning is found in discovery, a settlement offer will likely be offered by the defendant's counsel.
For more information, reach out to a personal injury attorney in your area.