1. Initial Consultation
At the initial consultation, the attorney takes the time to learn about your case. You fill them in on important details, ask questions, and see if the working relationship will be the right fit. The attorney will provide you with information on what kinds of damages are available to you, how long the process could take, and any fees or costs involved.
personal injury lawOnce you’ve decided to hire a personal injury law attorney, they’ll launch an investigation into the case. They’ll review police reports, medical records, and photos of the accident scene.
The attorney will also talk to witnesses and consult experts in the accident reconstruction and medical fields. This step gives the lawyer a clearer picture of what happened so that they can effectively advocate for you.
3. Demand Letter
Next, the attorney sends a demand letter to the opposing party, including their legal counsel and insurance company. The demand letter details what happened and the damages you’re seeking.
This opens the door to negotiations, which is how most injury cases are resolved. The letter requests a certain amount of compensation, the opposing side extends a counteroffer, and you continue to negotiate until a settlement is reached.
4. Filing a Lawsuit
If negotiations aren’t successful, the attorney will file a lawsuit in the county courts. This formally lodges your complaint against the defendant, who then must provide a response to the courts in which they answer the complaint.
During this step, both sides exchange evidence pertinent to the case so that they can evaluate the strength of the other’s position and design a customized legal strategy. This involves sharing information and taking depositions and sworn statements. An attorney may need to file pretrial motions or request hearings to obtain information from the other side.
6. Mediation or Trial
In many personal injury law cases, a court-appointed mediator will try to restart settlement negotiations before proceeding to a courtroom trial. If an agreement isn’t reached, the case goes before a judge or jury. Both sides present their cases, and a verdict is rendered.