What will happen with my case after I hire a personal injury lawyer?
No one likes to imagine they’d need to hire a personal injury lawyer, but if you’ve been in a car accident, motorcycle accident or you’ve suffered a dog bite injury, you’ll want to speak with an attorney to determine how to best proceed with your case.
Although some people assume that hiring a lawyer means they’ll need to spend the next few months appearing in court, this isn’t always the case. In fact, most personal injury lawsuits settle out of court.
If you’re curious about what will happen after you retain an attorney, read on.
Starting from the top
The lawyer will likely start by obtaining witness statements and official reports; they’ll also ask if you have any photographs that you can provide to support your claim. Photographs may include images of injuries and/or damages to property.
When your injuries have been stabilized, they’ll start to collect medical bills. They’ll ask for supporting documents relating to the amount of time you needed to take off work, vehicle repair expenses and other types of property damage related expenses.
You’ll want to remember that the document collection phase does not always move quickly, because hospitals and employers tend to be slower in responding than plaintiffs and their attorneys would like.
From here, your attorney will work to solicit an offer from the at fault party’s insurance company. Your attorney will discuss the offer with you to determine whether you’re being low-balled or if they feel the offer is fair. If your attorney is unable to obtain a fair offer, they’ll likely suggest pursuing a lawsuit or arbitration.
Should this happen, “discovery” would likely begin. In this phase, witnesses and experts would be deposed as a means of collecting evidence to support your claim. Discovery can be complex and time-consuming, and it often moves slowly.
If the case does not settle during discovery, a trial date would be requested. The date will depend on where the case is filed along with how full the current court docket is.
Call The Law Offices of Marc L. Shapiro, P.A. today
If you have questions about how personal injury lawsuits work or you have questions about how long it may take to settle your case, call our office today to speak with a licensed attorney you can trust. Call today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced Naples FL lawyer.