PERSONAL INJURY



Timeline showing the personal injury process

Incident

Broken car windshield

 After an event involving injury, it is important  for you or a family member to gather as much information regarding the incident as possible.  This includes the other party's contact and insurance information, witness info, and documentation regarding your injury.

Intake

Shaking hands over gavel

Many people who experience an injury do not want to speak with an attorney immediately, which is understandable.  However, having an attorney involved from the outset lets the insurance carrier know you are represented and committed to enforcing your rights.

Pre-Litigation

Person writing

During the pre-litigation phase, we get to work by investigating the incident, tracking down copies of your medical records, and preparing an initial demand for the insurance carrier. Navigating the pre-litigation phase is essential to maximizing your recovery and building options for you later in the litigation.

File Lawsuit / Demand Arb.

Gavel and book

For automobile collisions, unless the responsible party is uninsured you must first resolve the third party claim. This process is initiated by issuing a demand to the third party carrier or filing suit directly against the third party. On the other hand, if the third party is uninsured, the first step is to demand that your first party insurance carrier agree to arbitrate your claim.

Written Discovery

Person writing

Written discovery is typically your first opportunity to collect information directly from the adverse party. Cases can be won or lost based on how aggressively your attorney pursues written responses to pertinent discovery requests.




Depositions

People talking with an open book

A deposition is the taking of an oral statement from a witness who is under oath, usually before trial. Depositions have two main purposes: (1) to find out what the witness knows, and (2) to preserve the witness' testimony for trial or arbitration. This process allows all parties the chance to collect all of the facts and relevant testimony before the matter is decided.

Medical Examination

Stethoscope

During litigation, insurance carriers will rarely rely on your medical records and treating physicians when deciding how to value your claim. Rather, it is common for the carrier to hire an "independent medical examiner" to conduct its own evaluation of your injury. This usually includes a medical examination and an IME report.

Law and Motion

Judge reading a book

The efficient use of law and motion during the litigation phase is essential to the success of any personal injury matter, be it for gaining information, prevailing on issues in dispute, or making sure you try your case on your terms, not the insurance carrier's.



Dispute Resolution

Shaking hands over signed agreement

There are several opportunities during litigation to position or resolve your case prior to trial.  These include demands, statutory offers, mediation, and ultimately, a mandatory settlement conference. Each can be used to push for a resolution or to collect valuable information from the carrier before trial or arbitration.

Expert Discovery

Person with pad and pen talking to someone else.

Expert discovery is the point in the case where both sides collect information and depose each other's liability, causation, and damage experts.  This is a crucial part of the case, and one that directly impacts the possibility of a recovery at trial.

Pre-Trial Preparation

Stacked files

Though we are getting closer to trial, by now your attorney has already been preparing for trial for months. Witness preparation, document and deposition summation, drafting and presentation all begin to come together. 

Trial or Arbitration

Courtroom during trial

Almost to the finish line. Trial can take several days or it can span months. Each case is different and varies depending on the complexity of the action and each side's willingness to limit the issues in dispute.

Post Judgment / Award

Front of a courthouse

You get a judgment or award. Now is the time where your attorney utilizes what they have done during discovery to hopefully increase your recovery even more.

First Party Claim

Person writing on notepad

Depending on the size of the first and third party policy limits, you may be still be able to pursue first party insurance coverage if that coverage is in excess of the policy limit associated with the third party claim.

Lien Resolution

Calculator and stethoscope

Though you pay a deductible and premiums for health insurance, your policy and state statutes allow the carrier to collect against your recovery.  Our attorneys are experts at reducing these amounts, and we will continue to fight for you even after our fee is in hand.

Liability

Car accident and person on the phone

The first thing that the injured party needs to prove is that the third party was liable for the incident (i.e., that the third party was negligent).  Proving that the other party is liable for your injuries is essential to any personal injury claim, and it can be a very fact-intensive process. The ultimate question is whether the third party did (or didn't do) something that a reasonably careful person would not do (or would have done) in the same situation.

Causation

Stethoscope

After liability, the next step is to prove that the third party's conduct or omission caused your injuries. It is very common for insurance carriers to reject or minimize claims due to pre-existing conditions or a failure to mitigate. Navigating these arguments requires a careful and thorough review of your medical records and an advanced understanding of your condition(s). Presentation and organization is key to telling the jury or arbitrator the right side of the story: your side.

Damages

Person in wheelchair being treated

Damages fall into two main categories: economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages include medical expenses, wage loss, and other "hard costs." Non-economic damages include, in part, your pain and suffering and emotional distress.  Proving non-economic damages can be very difficult, especially with the many misconceptions of what non-economic damages are and how they are calculated. Having a personal injury attorney that is experienced in presenting damages is essential to your claim's success.

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DISCLAIMER

 The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. All information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only.  Information on this website may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information.