Most Americans have no idea how personal injury lawsuits work, and that is exactly how it should be until they have been injured in an accident. The process of filing a personal injury claim for the first time may appear lengthy and unnecessarily difficult. You may be unsure of what will occur, what you must do, and how long it will take.
We realize that most consumers are confused by the personal injury lawsuit procedure as Phoenix personal injury attorneys. To assist you understand what to expect, we've detailed the fundamental procedure that will occur in most personal injury cases, including automobile accidents, product liability, dog attacks, and other claims.
Getting to know the case
Following your initial consultation with your Phoenix personal injury lawyer, he or she will begin collecting information regarding your case. This is crucial to determining who the guilty party or parties are, the extent of your damages, and if the case contains any possible land mines that might restrict your compensation.
Your lawyer will interview you, any witnesses, and any police officers who may have attended to the incident to collect the essential facts of your case. He or she will also go over any police reports or other documentation that pertains to the incident.
Your attorney will then obtain documents and evidence concerning your damages, including medical bills and records from your treating physicians, as well as information from your employer about missed earnings.
Finally, your attorney should check insurance coverage to see what policies could be applicable to your injury. He or she will then write to these insurance providers to inform them that you have retained counsel and that any contacts regarding the claim should be directed to him or her rather than you.
Putting together a claim
Your Phoenix personal injury lawyer will draft a settlement package or a demand letter for the insurance company after he or she has a complete knowledge of the facts of the case. The facts of your case, the basis for liability, an explanation of your injuries, including treatment and prognosis, a statement of your damages, and a settlement demand will all be included in your lawyer's presentation.
The purpose of this letter is to make a compelling argument to the insurance company so that the case may be settled. Litigation is expensive, dangerous, and stressful, and it can take a long time to resolve. It is frequently preferable to get a reasonable settlement from the insurance company at the beginning rather than going to court.
If the insurance company decides to settle, the ultimate compensation deal may take some time to negotiate. Before an agreement is achieved, the procedure may entail numerous offers and counteroffers.
Taking the case to court
If the insurance company refuses to settle your case, you must consult with a Phoenix personal injury lawyer to determine whether filing a lawsuit is the best option for you. If that's the case, the next step is to file a claim in the proper court. The opposing party (and/or their insurance company) will be given the chance to respond, after which both parties will share information in a process known as discovery.
The case will go to trial when all information and evidence has been shared and all pre-trial difficulties have been resolved. A suit will settle before trial in many — but not all — situations, even on the night before. If the matter gets to trial, however, your Phoenix personal injury lawyer will be prepared to make a compelling case for compensation.
Each party will be given the opportunity to present evidence, cross-examine witnesses, and make an opening and closing statement. The jury or the judge will next render a decision. If either party believes the court committed a legal error throughout the procedure, they can seek an appeal.
Funds are disbursed
Your insurance company will compensate you if you accepted a settlement offer or won at trial. Your lawyer will get a release and settlement money from the insurance company. The funds are usually placed into a separate account with your attorney while the firm decides what expenditures, such as attorney's fees, must be subtracted and if any other parties must be compensated (such as healthcare providers). After that, you'll have the opportunity to examine the disbursement document and get the cash.
The personal injury claim procedure is undoubtedly difficult, but you are not alone. At The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker, we guide our clients through the legal process, ensuring that they are aware of their rights and choices at all times. Initial consultations are always free. To make an appointment call 602-340-0030.