How do cases work?

The thought of filing a claim can be overwhelming, especially when you are recovering from a motor vehicle accident or injury. Whether your case goes to court or not, our goal is to lessen the unknowns and provide you some peace-of-mind by guiding you through the legal process step by step. To answer some of your questions, here is a brief overview of the different steps that make up the process of a personal injury case:

1) Accident or Injury Occurs

This is the precipitating event that starts the claim. Our law firm only represents people who are not at fault for the collision and who suffered injury or death as a result of the accident.

2) Obtaining Medical Treatment

The treatment process is on a huge spectrum, so it varies from case to case. On one hand, you may only need brief emergency room care and never experience any lasting symptoms. On the other hand, you could end up with complications from the injury that require medical care for the rest of your life. We want to make sure that you receive the treatment you need now and in the future.

3) Completion of Treatment

This is the time when we try to resolve the case with the at-fault insurance company. This is known as the “demand process.” It involves gathering your medical records, creating a summary of your accident, injuries, and other evidence, and sending it to the insurance company with our request for compensation.

4) Insurance Company Response

If the response is a reasonable offer, we settle the case.

5) Litigation

If the response from the insurance company is not a reasonable offer, we will file a lawsuit. This process is called litigation:

Discovery

  • This is a formal process used to exchange evidence with the other driver’s insurance company. Both sides are seeking information from the other side about each other’s cases. This process may involve the following:
    • Interrogatories: these are written questions about you, the accident, and your medical treatment which you must answer under oath.
    • Depositions: these are meetings in which the opposing attorney will ask you questions under oath which are transcribed with your answers by a court reporter.
      • This may seem daunting to you, but we will prepare you and be with you during the entire deposition.
    • CR 35 exams: if you claim any future medical treatment related to your collision, the opposing attorney can designate a doctor to exam you and render an opinion for the defense.
  • -Mandatory Arbitration
    • For cases that fall below a certain dollar threshold, arbitration is an alternative means to resolve a case without going to trial.
      • Advantages of arbitration:
        • Discovery rules are limited.
        • The case is tried before a neutral, third party (the “arbitrator”) who determines the award.
        • It is much faster, less formal, and less expensive than a jury trial.
      • Disadvantages of arbitration:
        • The decision of the arbitrator is not necessarily final. If one side disagrees with the arbitration award, they can appeal the decision into a trial de novo, a new trial in front of a judge and jury.
  • -Trial
    • If a settlement cannot be reached, your case will go to trial in front of a judge and a jury of 12 people. The jury will render a verdict. If the jury finds in your favor, they will also determine the amount of damages awarded to you.

The majority of cases do not go to court

You may be surprised to hear that most cases are resolved without a trial. After receiving a settlement offer, we will review it with you, answer your questions, and provide advice on how to proceed based on our knowledge and experience. Ultimately, the decision is yours whether to accept the offer or go to court. Either way, we will be there to support you.

We are with you every step of the way

Most of our clients have never gone to court, so we understand that you may be worried and scared. Our goal is to calm your fears and lessen your stress by explaining the trial process, answer your questions, and prepare you for what’s ahead in layman’s terms—we will try to limit the legal jargon!

Our mission is to give you peace-of-mind

No one looks forward to filing a claim, but with our help, we hope to make it as easy as possible for you and your loved ones. After you turn the case over to us, we are committed to relieving you of the stress of paperwork, deadlines, and the other challenges of filing a claim, so you can focus on the most important thing: your recovery.