The Five Stages of a Personal Injury Case
If you’ve been hurt in a car accident, slip and fall or some other type of serious injury, you probably worry about a lot of things. You may be concerned about paying your bills, covering medical costs, and making sure you are able to get the treatment you need to start feeling better. If you are the sole income-earner for a family, these worries can be even more troubling. Over many years, a skilled Kissimmee personal injury lawyer can gain wisdom and insight into the process through which financial recoveries can be obtained. However, for the average American, the process can feel overwhelming and daunting. To simplify, here are five basic stages of a personal injury case.
#1 Investigation Stage
Before an attorney can ever hope to recover money for a victim, he or she must perform a thorough investigation. During this part of the process, the attorney may employ investigators, crash reconstruction experts, and medical experts. The point is to figure out early whether the case can be proven and whether someone else caused the injuries.
#2 Treatment Stage
Often the longest stage of the process is treatment. After all, it is hard to adequately assess the true value of a case until medical treatment is obtained. So, the victim must often seek months of treatment before anything else can happen. During this time, the attorney will check in, make sure treatment is ongoing, and ensure that the individual is receiving the right kind of care.
#3 Demand and Negotiations Stage
Once the attorney has all of the necessary information, facts, medical records, bills, and other items needed, a demand will be made on the defendant and their insurance carrier. This is where negotiations begin. If a fair and acceptable settlement can be reached, terrific, the case will soon resolve. If not, the case will proceed to the next step.
#4 Litigation Stage
If there can be no settlement, then the case may need to be litigated in court. This process begins with the filing of a complaint in the local county court. The two sides will exchange legal papers, perform depositions, and eventually take the matter to a trial before a judge or a jury to reach resolution.
#5 Settlement/Payment Stage
Once a verdict is reached or a settlement is accepted, the case must be resolved. Many injured people find this the most frustrating point in the case. This is because there is often a good deal of lag time before getting paid. This is for several reasons:
- The attorney must notify the defendant’s insurance carrier of acceptance and request the payment
- The plaintiff/injury victim must sign releases and other legal forms
- Liens must be satisfied (these are unpaid medical expenses, health insurance liens, and government liens)
- There may be authorizations or court approvals needed if the victim is underaged or otherwise unable to approve the agreement themselves
Ultimately, when trying to pursue justice for injured people in Florida, it often takes a bit of time to get the resolution that is desired. But with patience and an aggressive advocate on your side, you can be successful in collecting significant compensation. Call or visit Draper Law Office online to schedule your free consultation today.