After treatment is completed or it becomes clear that the injured individual will need to continue treatment for the foreseeable future, the next step is to collect the medical bills and records and to craft a Demand Package to the insurance company or alternatively, to go directly to filing suit
This is one of many decisions that has to be made that should be guided by an experienced personal injury attorney.
If the case doesn’t settle the next step is Litigation. The term “Litigation” refers to the entire process from the filing of the complaint to trying the case before a jury. There are a lot of steps that are taken by the attorney to properly prepare a case for trial. In most cases there are three major steps the client will be involved in prior to the case heading to trial;
Each side in litigated cases sends out a package of written questions called “Discovery” which contains questions called “Interrogatories”. These request basic information about the injured individual’s background, the injuries, treatment and the facts of the accident. This is usually done shortly after the case commences.
This is covered in more detail in another post. A deposition is basically the other side’s single opportunity to sit down face to face with the injured individual to ask questions about the accident, treatment, lost wages and a host of other items. This is a key step in the litigation process and is one that requires the injured individual to be properly prepared for the deposition. This pre deposition meeting usually takes place in the days leading up to the deposition and can last several hours. Proper preparation is key to success.
Most cases on their way to trial go through some Alternative Dispute Resolution process. This usually means sitting down with a “Neutral” (another experienced lawyer or a retired judge) who acts as the go between to try to get the parties to reach an agreeable number. The client must be present for this process.
If none of the settlement efforts are successful, the next step is to prepare for trial. Proper trial preparation requires the client to spend a significant amount of time understanding the likely questions and being able to answer them.