What to Expect From Your Personal Injury Attorney
If you have been injured through no fault of your own, you may have a personal injury claim. If so, you should know what to expect from your personal injury attorney. While the first thing to do after an accident is to receive proper medical care, the second thing can be just as important: make sure you hire a good lawyer who will guide you through the somewhat murky process of a personal injury claim settlement. What exactly should you expect for your personal injury attorney? Why do you even need an attorney in the first place?
You will need a lawyer for any personal injury claim where you suffered a fairly significant physical injury or other losses, such as damage to property.
Generally speaking, if you are miss work for more than just a few days, or if your medical bills are more than a few thousand dollars, you need to hire a personal injury claim lawyer. Once you have hired the attorney, he or she will begin the work on your case. Step one will be a review and investigation of your claim and a review of your medical records.
Next, your attorney will conduct an interview with you about the specifics of how the accident happened. This will probably include some information on your background, and your current medical condition and the recommended medical treatment. The personal injury attorney will need to know everything about the accident, the injuries you have suffered and the treatment. Be completely honest and upfront with your lawyer. Your attorney does not want any unknown information coming in as a surprise.
Your lawyer will next review all of the medical records and bills which relate to the personal injury accident. This can be a lengthy process, so don’t get discouraged if things seem to be taking long. You want your attorney to do a complete review.
Most small personal injury claims are settled before ever filing a lawsuit. If the possibility of a settlement is good, your lawyer will make a demand to either the other attorney involved, or the other side’s insurance company. If that is not an alternative, then your lawyer will file a personal injury lawsuit.
Once the lawsuit is filed, things may seem to come to a standstill, but have patience, again. It may take from one to two years or more for a personal injury case to reach trial. The Discovery Process next occurs, with each side
investigating the other sides’ legal claims and defenses. They send questions and requests for certain documents and begin the process of taking depositions. This aspect of the process can take from six months to a year or more. Next in the legal process is Mediation and Negotiation, which may or may not result in a settlement. If there is no personal injury claim settlement, your case would be scheduled for trial.
Having the right personal injury lawyer on your side is what will make the whole process more successful and less stressful. Be sure to fully question your attorney so you will know what to expect when, and you will have a better chance of a favorable personal injury settlement.