In this article, we will talk about what happens throughout the different stages of a personal injury case. The life cycle of a personal injury case can be long, or it can be short. The goal obviously, is to resolve each case as quickly as possible.
Unfortunately, timing is something that sometimes falls outside of our control, as your attorney. Today, I’m going to talk with you about what happens if a case settles, the typical life cycle of a case that does settle, how the entire pre-suit process works, and how a case can settle even after a lawsuit is filed, if necessary.
Getting Help From An Attorney
The first step in any personal injury case, of course, is meeting with your attorney. Here at Michles & Booth, we conduct an initial free consultation with every new client. During that meeting, we discuss the specific facts of the accident or injury that’s at issue. We discuss a need to learn about our client’s past medical and claim history, and we attempt to explain the process and what to expect going forward, including things that are current unknowns, including coverage limitations, the extent of an ongoing or evolving injury, and generally the process.
Letters of Representation
Once we’ve met and have entered into a formal attorney-client relationship with the new client, the first things that we do to start the process moving forward are to send out letters of representation to all insurance companies or other targets. Even your own insurance company. The reason we do this is to identify all possible places where there might be coverage.
Client Access to Health Care
Another thing we do in starting the case, is making sure our client has access to health care they might need, and that they know how to find doctors or specialists that they might need to seek treatment with. We begin the process of collecting other information relevant to the claim, including conducting an investigation, taking witness statements, collecting records and bills, and otherwise building what will later become a demand packet. What you’re probably wondering is, how do we get to the finish line?
How and when is a settlement received?
In a personal injury case, our goal throughout the process is to reach a resolution as quickly as possible for our clients. The way that we attempt to achieve resolution in a pre-suit claim is, we prepare a demand letter. This is an important stage of the case, where we compile and enclose all medical records and bills. This includes medical records before the accident, and medical records and bills related to the injury that’s at issue.
We send a demand letter to the insurance company, giving them a set, specific amount of time within which to respond. When we send this letter, it’s our hope that we receive an offer in response.
The next step is to negotiate a resolution with the involvement of the client. When offers are received, they are presented to clients and, assuming we’re able to reach a resolution that our client is happy with, the process from settlement to disbursement includes waiting for the settlement cheque, depositing the cheque, finalizing balances on all outstanding bills, and updating the disbursement sheet that itemizes where every single penny of the settlement proceeds go.
Michles & Booth is here to help.
If you or a loved one have questions about a potential personal injury claim, please do not hesitate to contact the law firm of Michles & Booth. Your claim may have time limitations, and it may be important to get started as soon as possible. Please feel free to give us a call at 850-438-4848 or visit us online at www.michlesbooth.com.
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View the slidedeck for this video here: Stages of a Personal Injury Case – To Settlement