A Personal Injury Case: Step By Step
If you or a loved one has been injured (or worse) by someone else’s negligence, you need to be fairly compensated for medical expenses, loss of wages, and other damages like pain and suffering. You may have watched TV shows or read stories about how attorneys handle these personal injury cases, but they don’t always reflect what really happens.
Personal injury claims can be very complex, so you’ll want to hire an attorney to work through all the details and push your case forward to resolution. Here are the main parts, or phases, of a typical personal injury case.
This may sound like an obvious first step, but sometimes people skip doctor visits or ignore orders. Not only do you need to get well, but your medical treatment details are a very important part of your personal injury case. The goal is for your injuries to get properly diagnosed and treated. We want to show that you’re doing all the right things to recover as quickly as possible.
Please get medical treatment. This may include an ambulance taking you to the hospital at the time of your injury, follow up visits to your doctor, additional doctor visits, physical therapy, MRIs, injections, or even possibly surgery.
Your Litner + Deganian attorney will need to collect as much information as possible about your injury and the incident that caused it. We use this information to determine the value of your case, and it becomes the evidence that backs up your claim. Information may include:
- Details about the incident that caused your injury, like police records, involved parties (and their employers), and insurance companies. Sometimes there are more parties involved than you may think, like a tire manufacturer or a corporate entity.
- Injury information, including doctors visited, medical treatment information, and medical records
- How your injury impacts your job and lifestyle.
- Any information about your personal history that may impact your case, such as previous accidents and injuries.
Once we’re able to determine the compensation you deserve and assign a value to your case, we’ll start negotiating with the insurance company and other companies involved. Don’t be upset if the insurance company’s first offer is very low. We just use this as a starting point.
The good news? In our experience, about 70-80% of claims are settled in this negotiation phase. As personal injury attorneys, our job is to get you the maximum payment based on the strength of the all of the evidence we’ve gathered. We will also work with medical providers to lower their fees when possible, so more of the compensation goes into your pocket.
Settlement or Trial
At Litner + Deganian, we plan as if every case will go to trial. The strength of your case, and our experience as personal injury attorneys, often allows us to negotiate a fair settlement before trial, or even before having to file a lawsuit. Our clients receive higher offers prior to a lawsuit being filed because the insurance companies know we will file suit if our clients are lowballed. When a settlement is not possible, we’ll be ready to take your case to court and convince a jury that we’re right about the value of your case.
Our favorite part—and probably yours too—will be when you receive your payment so you can finally get on with your life.
How you can help
Here are the two most important things you can do if you or a family member are ever injured due to someone else’s negligence:
- Get medical treatment. This includes both immediate and ongoing treatment. Keep all medical records and bills related to the injuries.
- Hire a personal injury attorney. Don’t risk making mistakes that hurt your chances of getting the compensation you deserve.
Have you experienced a personal injury? Need help about what to do next? Call the personal injury attorneys at Litner + Deganian today for a free consultation.