1. We meet with you face to face for about one hour to learn the details of your accident.
2. If we agree to go forward, we start collecting information immediately, including the following:
- Police reports
- witness statements
- expert witness investigations
- detailed reconstruction of accident scene
- medical records
- insurance documents
- legal research
- Doctor’s review of injuries
- interviews with police, EMS, firemen and eye witnesses
3. After about 90 days we have enough information to either resolve the case with an insurance company or we file suit.
4. Filing suit is not as scary as it sounds. 99% of all cases are settled without a trial or even stepping foot in a courtroom.
We do most of the work, and your involvement is as follows:
- 1. Answer written questions called interrogatories. These are supplied by the insurance company lawyer and ask questions about the accident and your injury. We help you answer these.
- 2. Give your testimony at deposition. This takes an hour or two and takes place in our office with one of our lawyers sitting beside you. We thoroughly prepare you for your testimony and most people enjoy the experience.
5. Facilitation – This is an informal method of settling cases.
We and the defense attorney agree on a neutral party (often a retired judge) to try to settle the case early in the proceedings. You and I go to the facilitation, and we advise you of whether settling is in your best interest. One third of all cases are settled at this point.
6. Case Evaluation is a more formal attempt to settle cases.
The attorneys appear at the Courthouse and present the case to a panel of 3 other attorneys. The panel then puts a monetary award on the case which they believe it should settle for. Both sides have to accept the award amount for the case to be resolved. This procedure settles about one third of cases.
7. The Final Pre-Trial Conference with the Judge at the Courthouse is the last chance to settle prior to trial.
Of the remaining cases that haven’t settled yet, most are settled here. The Judge talks to each side separately and puts pressure on both sides to resolve the case. If you can’t settle (less than 1% don’t settle by this time), we go on to trial.
As stated previously, the entire process from start to finish usually takes about one year.