Every personal injury case has the following stages. Each stage can takes time.
The Stages of Your Case
- Determining Your Medical Injuries – Before you settle your claim, you need to know the full extent of your medical injuries so you can reasonably figure your medical bills and know how much pain and suffering you will have. To know the extent of your medical bills you need a diagnosis for your doctors. Sometimes doctors can tell you immediately. Sometimes they have to run tests and see how your body behaves before they can make a diagnosis.
- Determining Who is at Fault – You need to know all the parties who may be at fault. Sometimes this is immediately obvious. Sometimes it takes time to determine the exact identity of ALL the responsible parties.
- Making the Claims to the Insurance Companies – Once you know your diagnosis and the property parties you can begin to make a claim with all the insurance companies of the responsible parties.
- The Pleadings – If the claim can’t be settled with the insurance company, then you will have to file a complaint. The complaint sets forth your position. The responsible parties (the defendants) will answer the complaint and may file additional pleadings. It make take several months before all the pleadings (all the statements of positions) are finished.
- The Discovery Stage – In this stage each side gets to ask oral and written questions of each other. Each side also gets to ask oral questions of any relevant witnesses. This stage can take months or even a year.
- The Trial – Once the discovery is finished the case is scheduled for trial.
When your case is most likely to settle
- Your first reasonable time to settle with the defendant’s insurance companies is in step 3 – after you know your medical diagnosis and after you know all the responsible parties. Don’t settle before you know your medical diagnosis and the identity of all the responsible parties.
- While your case can be settled at any time, the next most logical time to settle the case is before trial. Trials are expensive and juries and judges are not always predictable. So both sides, will review the merits of their positions before the case is scheduled for trial.
What factors can quicken the settlement time
- The ability of the defendant to pay. Ideally, defendants have insurance to pay your claim. Otherwise, they need to pay from their personal or business assets. If your claim is more than the available insurance, then it’s logical to consider a quick settlement in the amount of the insurance limits and defendant’s assets.
- The ability of your uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM) coverage to pay. In motor vehicle cases, even if the other side doesn’t have enough insurance/assets to pay a claim, you can claim through your own UM policy.
Why you should consult a lawyer
- A lawyer can determine the responsible parties and responsible insurance companies
- A lawyer knows how to prepare your case for your trial. You get the best results when you’re prepared for your trial.
- A lawyer knows the true value of your damages. Your claim includes past and future medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. A lawyer knows how much money you should get for your injuries.
How our law firm can help?
If anyone you know has suffered a personal injury, please consult or law firm immediately. Time is of the essence. Our law firm help you get the recovery you deserve. During this difficult time we will help you receive the maximum compensation allowed by law and we will assist you through every step of the case. Our team of lawyers works with medical professionals, valuation experts, technical experts and other lawyers. If you or a loved one suffered an injury or a death please call us at 1-888-WE-MEAN-IT (1-888-936-3264) or email us at: [email protected].