You’ve been in an accident. The accident was not your fault, and you were injured. Many things will occur in rapid succession. If your injuries were serious, you’ve been transported to the hospital for emergency treatment. If they weren’t debilitating injuries, you’ve left the accident scene and gone to a doctor for treatment. You’ve made contact with your insurance company to report the accident and contacted the other drivers’ insurance as well.
At this point, you need PROTECTION, from the opposing insurance. They will contact you and attempt to have you make a recorded statement regarding the accident. You have a choice in this, to either cooperate with them, or not. You are not obligated to assist the opposing insurance company in their investigation of the accident. And any statements you make, whether well considered or offhand, can be used by the opposing insurance company to minimize their liability and to reduce or refuse to pay a fair claim. Do not to speak with them.
You have decided to hire an attorney to represent you in this claim, and have considered the choices available and chosen an attorney that you trust. If you’ve selected a reputable lawyer to represent you, they will not require any payment out of pocket from you in this retention process. They should inform you that the case will be handled on a contingency basis, which means the payment to the attorney will come from the proceeds of any settlement at the time of payment of the claim.
You will also be told that you should continue your medical treatments, or medical treatment may be suggested by the attorney from doctors with whom the lawyer has established relationships. Medical treatments may be handled on a lien against the claim so that no further payments are required from you to complete your treatments.
Once you are comfortable with the lawyer, you sign a retainer agreement which spells out in plain language the details of your relationship with the lawyer. At this point, any communication between any other party in the process, with the exception of your medical providers will be handled by your lawyer.
Cooperation and Investigation
It will be important to cooperate with your attorney on all aspects of the claim. He will investigate the accident, which may include obtaining police reports of the accident, any insurance coverages that may be available to you, among many other factors that make up the claim. It is important that you continue treatment and not miss or reschedule medical treatments as outlined by your doctor. You may be assigned to a case manager who will be your primary point of contact until the case is completed. They will call you as needed for additional information regarding the claim, and you may contact them at any time as questions arise. You may also be given online options for reviewing the current status of your case and such as the Richard Harris Law Firm client portal.
Stabilization, Documentation, Evaluation and Presentation
Once your medical treatments have stabilized and you are discharged by your medical provider, all aspects of the case and expenses associated with your treatment and all other possible claim related expenses will be documented and prepared to file a Demand with the appropriate insurance providers and those liable for causing the accident. After your lawyer has reviewed the demand and has determined that it falls within applicable law and is fair and equitable, the Demand will be presented to the appropriate parties.
Negotiation, Decision, Litigation, Resolution and Distribution
The opposing parties have three options at this point. They may agree to the Demand as presented, they may counter the Demand with a different proposal, or they may reject the Demand outright. Your lawyer will enter into negotiations with the opposing parties to reach common ground that is acceptable to all parties. You will be apprised of these steps as they take place. Once this Negotiation process has reached its conclusion, you will be presented with a Decision. Accept the negotiated settlement, or determine that further litigation is required. If you accept the settlement, the case is resolved, and a Distribution of funds takes place, and the case closes.
If further litigation is required, a new process begins to build a case that will withstand all opposition. This involves your lawyers, and opposing lawyers Coordinating their understanding of the case. Production of Documents and filing of motions takes place with the courts. There may be sworn Depositions of all parties to the claim, which may include first responders, doctors, and others. Those who are deposed are placed under oath, and testimony given is the same as sworn testimony in a courtroom. Further medical Examinations may be required to document treatments and results of treatment. The process may involve Arbitration or Mediation in an effort the resolve the dispute prior to entering a courtroom. If all efforts at a settlement fail, the last step is to Prepare and present the case in front of a judge and jury in a court of law.
The court will Adjudicate the case. During Adjudication, negotiations may continue in the background between your lawyer and opposing counsel, and a settlement could be reached prior to the conclusion of the trial. If the trial reaches its conclusion, instructions will be given to the jury and they will determine whether to find for you, the plaintiff or for the opposing parties, the defendants.
If a finding is for the plaintiff, the jury will award a settlement based on the merits of the case, and the case is resolved and a distribution takes place.
Richard Harris Law Firm is Ready
The lawyers of the Richard Harris Law Firm are well schooled in all aspects of this process and will be tenacious is pursuing your claim to obtain what is right, and what is fair under this legal process. We are here to assist you as you seek to be made whole after an accident. Call us today and discuss your case with us, at (702) 444-4444.