Have you just been injured and believe you have a claim? You may want to know what goes into the typical injury claim process. Valuable information regarding meeting with an injury attorney and what you may expect could get you ready for the claim process and answer any questions you may have. So, from beginning to end, what might happen in your case?
After an accident, it is important to seek medical treatment. This is the first thing that should always be considered. Depending on the injury, a doctor or a hospital may be the person to see. This is not only the right thing to do for the sake of your overall health, but it is also important for your case. The insurance adjuster and jury will assume that you weren’t hurt that badly if you didn’t see a doctor for some time following your accident.
Next on the list is choosing a lawyer you can trust with your case. You want a lawyer to support your case for anything larger than a minor claim, and should immediately follow the injury. As you search for the perfect lawyer, you may have multiple consultations. This is basically a process where you tell the lawyer about your accident claim and are asked questions in return about it. This is a process that may be a bit difficult for you but working with the right lawyer can ease the troubles significantly and help you through the process. They may also tell you right off the bat what you can expect in your case.
After this, the lawyer will investigate your claim and review your medical records. Lawyers want to know everything that you know about the accident yourself, your injury, and treatment. They will then use this information and collect medical records relating to the injury you’ve sustained. They will also probably get medical records on any treatment that you have ever had related to the condition at issue in your case. This process can take some time and, in the end, your lawyer will tell you if he or she thinks you will have a case or not.
Next, the lawyer will consider making a demand and negotiate. If the lawyer believes that the case can be settled, then they will make a demand to the other side’s attorney or insurance company. Otherwise, a lawsuit will be filed. A lawyer will most often not file a lawsuit until the plaintiff’s maximum medical improvement (known as MMI). This is so that they know how much the case will be worth in its entirety.
Finally, you may say! The lawsuit is filed! However, it could take up to one or two years for a personal injury case to get to trial depending on the procedures of the state. There is still hope and now your case is being reviewed. It is vital to keep in mind that a lawsuit needs to be filed within strict time limits that every state has, called a statute of limitations.
Next, the discovery process will happen. This is the procedure in which each party investigates what the adversary’s legal claims and defenses are. They will send questions and document requests to each other and take the statements of all witnesses in the case. This begins with the plaintiff and defendant, and any relevant information they can provide. This process typically takes about six months up to a year. It all depends on the deadlines and the complexity of the case.
Mediation and negotiation occurs next. The lawyers will generally get together for this process and start talking about settlement. Sometimes, a case will be settled just by talking amongst themselves. Other times, they will go forward with mediation. Mediation is a process where both clients and both lawyers go in front of a mediator to try and settle the case.
Mediation can work but, if it doesn’t, then the trial process begins, which is a laborious process but the last step in your personal injury case. A personal injury trial can be expected to last a day, a week, or even longer depending on what is involved. It is important to keep in mind that trials can be scheduled for a specific day, but this may change. Trials will often get rescheduled because of the judge’s schedule, and this is not reason for concern or to get hopes down. You should also not automatically assume that your lawyer is conspiring against you, because trials are delayed all the time and for many different reasons.
Because of this long and complex process, it is very important to have a lawyer on your side that you can trust. They will be there to answer any questions for you and give you a more in-depth review of what you may expect. Call MDL today for a free consultation and to speak to a lawyer who will work with you!