16 17 FINISH LITIGATION COORDINATION PRODUCTION NO DEPOSITION EXAMINATION ARBITRATION MEDIATION PREPARATION ADJUDICATION RESOLUTION DISTRIBUTION LITIGATION Litigation begins with the plaintiff suing the responsible parties, the defendants. COORDINATION Case managers and paralegals work with the lawyer on the case. PRODUCTION There are several phases of“discovery,” including the production of written documentation by both sides. DEPOSITION The lawyers take depositions – testimony under oath – from parties and witnesses. EXAMINATION The defendant’s insurance company has their doctor examine the plaintiff. ARBITRATION A case may be submitted to non-binding arbitration and if both parties agree to the decision, the case settles. MEDIATION Both parties can agree to mediation, which is negotiation facilitated by a neutral third party. PREPARATION Many settlements come only after a considerable amount of time and money have been spent preparing for trial. ADJUDICATION When the parties cannot reach a settlement, the case proceeds to trial and is decided by a judge or jury. RESOLUTION The case resolves by exchanging a written release of all claims for a settlement check. DISTRIBUTION Settlement funds are distributed from the personal injury lawyer’s trust account. SHOULD I SETTLE? YES The timeline of a personal injury case can be complex and emotionally draining. At the Richard Harris Law Firm, we have a proven Case Resolution Process to ensure our team is communicating and preparing you for each stage and the best possible settlement. START COLLISION PROTECTION RETENTION COOPERATION INVESTIGATION EVALUATION PRESENTATION NEGOTIATION COMMUNICATION STABILIZATION DOCUMENTATION COLLISION Accidents and injuries caused by the negligence of another can happen on the road or anywhere. PROTECTION Accident victims can lose their rights without the protection of an experienced personal injury lawyer. RETENTION Personal injury lawyers handle cases for a contingency fee of a percentage on the amount recovered. COOPERATION The client and personal injury lawyer must work together on the case. INVESTIGATION The lawyer identifies the responsible parties, contacts witnesses and verifies insurance coverage. COMMUNICATION Frequent exchange of information is essential to the success of the case. STABILIZATION Injured accident victims remain under a doctor’s care until all injuries have resolved or a permanent condition stabilizes. DOCUMENTATION The lawyer gathers medical records, reports, bills, wage loss verification and other documentation of damages. EVALUATION Determining the value of a personal injury case requires evaluation of several factors. PRESENTATION All supporting documents are presented to the insurance company with a demand for settlement. NEGOTIATION The negotiation phase comprises monetary demands and offers between the lawyer and insurance company. DECISION The lawyer and client must decide whether the insurance company offer is fair, or whether to sue. DECISION CASE RESOLUTION PROCESS