Many people have no real concept of what would happen if they decided to file a claim for compensation for their personal injuries. In fact, many attorneys don’t really understand the process because this area of law can be so different.
The unique facts of each case dictate the process, so it will be different for each claim. However, we can offer some general guidance to help you understand what to expect.
The Case is Usually Won or Lost Before the Trial
The most important steps in a personal injury case happen outside the courtroom and long before a case is scheduled to go to trial. To win a personal injury case, we need evidence to show that the defendant’s actions caused the injuries. That means the collection and preservation of evidence are crucial to the case.
This evidence might include photos of an accident scene, video footage, and recollections from witnesses. The best time to collect evidence is right after the injury because the accident scene will change, videos are often erased, and the memory of witnesses fades as time passes.
Another crucial step early on is to make sure the injuries are diagnosed and treated properly. Without medical reports documenting the injuries, we have very little to justify asking for compensation.
Finally, just as we need to show that someone else caused the injuries by acting irresponsibly, it is equally essential for us to show that our client’s actions were not the cause of those injuries. They must take great care to avoid saying something that could be interpreted as an admission of fault. When clients work with an attorney early on after an injury, the attorneys can talk to others on their client’s behalf to avoid this type of problem.
Timeline of a Personal Injury Case
Remembering that every case will be different, here’s a general overview of what happens in a personal injury case:
- The client suffers an accident with injuries
- They get a medical exam and initial treatment and contact a personal injury attorney for advice
- The client and their legal team collect evidence
- The client follows medical instructions and works toward rebuilding health
- The legal team analyzes the evidence and may consult experts
- The client continues healing until the doctor says the maximum level of recovery is achieved
- The legal team calculates the value of losses, including compensation for pain and suffering and future needs
- The attorney sends a demand letter to the defendant’s insurance company
After this point, it’s all up to the insurance company. They may agree to provide reasonable compensation, in which case a settlement agreement is drawn up. Usually, they offer far too little to provide for the client’s needs. Then we explain the evidence we have so they can see how we will win if we go to trial, usually that will convince them to provide a fair settlement amount.
If not, we will take the matter to court. Both sides will make formal requests for information, and we may still negotiate a settlement. But if we still cannot reach a fair agreement, we present our evidence in court for the judge or jury to decide.
Early Legal Assistance Can Make All the Difference in the Outcome of a Personal Injury Case
The most important lesson to take away from this is that a personal injury attorney can help in numerous ways throughout the process and it is in your client’s best interests to hire an experienced attorney as soon as possible. We only win if they win. That means we will work very hard to help them succeed.
At Johnnie Bond Law, however, we also care about our client’s health and future, so we work hard to ensure that they receive the right medical care to reach their full recovery potential. Contact us to start the referral process.