Hiring a lawyer is not as simple as ordering a drink at Starbucks. It may seem like information overload. You’re probably going to explain the accident to a legal staff member by phone before ever meeting an attorney. It helps if you jot down important bullet points before you contact a law office. This not only saves time but keeps the order of events in an organized manner.
Once the initial call has been made it might take a day or two before you hear back. During this time your accident is being looked into and presented to a lawyer. If the lawyer sees potential in the case then you’ll typically be called for an in-person meeting with the lawyer. At the end of the free initial meeting, if you decide to hire the lawyer you will be asked to sign a fee agreement. The agreement will spell out the details of the attorney-client relationship with the bottom line being the lawyer is only paid IF you win AND money is collected.
Congratulations! Now what?
The next process varies case by case, but for the most part, you will continue getting treatment by a doctor or chiropractor. In most cases, before a lawyer can do any real work treatment needs to be finished. Won’t this take a long time? Maybe, but by finishing treatment you’re creating a paper trail of damages that amount to a dollar value. This can make or break the value of your case.
At the time you let your lawyer know that you’ve finished treating, they will make sure they have all medical records and create a demand letter. The demand letter is a formal document sent to the insurance company that outlines exactly what happened in the accident and the monetary damages. After the letter is sent, the negotiation process begins. This can take weeks or, in more complex cases, months.
In some instances, the insurance company will deny liability. At this point, your lawyer will determine if filing a lawsuit is the best thing to do. However, if negotiations succeed you will begin to wrap up your case and enter the settlement process.
If you’re looking for a personal injury attorney please don’t hesitate to contact us. We want to hear about your case!