What Happens After You Hire A Personal Injury Attorney?
Take Over the Discussions with Insurance Companies
Resolving an insurance claim can be a lengthy, complicated and stressful process. For example, if you were driving your own vehicle at the time of the collision, there are likely to be immediate issues regarding vehicle repairs and rental cars. If your vehicle was a total loss, you will have to negotiate with the adjuster in an attempt to receive fair market value for your car. There may also be immediate questions regarding how your medical bills will be paid. Addressing issues such as these on your own can add unnecessary stress to an already difficult situation. By hiring a personal injury attorney, you will have a representative to address these issues on your behalf while you focus your energy on recovering from your injuries. After our law firm is hired, we will immediately advise the insurance company of our representation. This will ensure that all future letters, phone calls and any other inquiries from the adjuster handling your claim are directed to our office rather than to your home.
Monitor Medical Treatment and Recovery Process
During the treatment phase of your claim, our office will regularly monitor your file. With the assistance of our experienced staff, the attorneys will keep current with your medical treatment and help resolve any issues associated with the claim. It can often take several months or more just to determine the extent of your injuries. Treatment may require many doctor visits, surgery, physical therapy, etc. In some cases, accident victims never completely heal. In those situations, an experienced personal injury attorney will take these life-changing conditions into consideration when evaluating your claim. Your lawyer will undoubtedly tell you not to even consider a settlement offer from the insurance company until your injuries have completely healed or the extent of future problems are known.
Research and Prepare
Once your medical treatment has ended, the majority of the legal work will begin. After gathering all of the facts and medical records, our office will analyze your claim and develop a settlement strategy with you. We will then prepare a settlement proposal for the insurance company’s consideration. When a settlement offer is received, we will help you analyze the insurance company’s response by comparing the offer with our evaluation of what a jury might decide on your case if it went to trial. It is critical that any evaluation of a settlement offer also accounts for the cost of litigation, as these costs can often be significant. Other factors to consider are the time value of money and recent jury tendencies in cases like yours.
Discovery and Depositions
Although many claims will be settled without litigation, others will require the filing of a lawsuit. There are different deadlines related to the timely filing of a personal injury case. These deadlines are called the statutes of limitation. Adults injured in a motor vehicle collision in Ohio have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit in order to preserve their rights. Minors involved in a motor vehicle collision have until their 20th birthday to bring a lawsuit for their injuries. The statutes of limitation in Ohio are not altered by whether the defendant is an individual, corporation or a public entity.
Once a lawsuit is filed, both sides engage in a legal process called discovery. During discovery, each party is allowed to investigate the details of the other party’s claims or defenses. Discovery is allowed in Ohio but is not mandatory. The defendant will be permitted to access your medical history and work history, which may include your income and tax records. You will likely have to give a deposition under oath, and you may be required to submit to a medical examination by a physician of the defendant’s choosing. The defendant is also subject to discovery. They can be required to answer written and oral questions about their background and give sworn testimony about the incident at issue. It is each party’s responsibility to present discovery requests such as interrogatories (written questions), requests for production of documents, requests for admissions and depositions (testimony under oath). As a practice, Anzellotti, Sperling, Pazol & Small engages in extensive discovery on behalf of our clients.
Settlement, Mediation and Court
As your case progresses through the discovery process, the court will schedule various deadlines, hearings, and, ultimately, a trial date. The court may also schedule a mediation, which is intended to provide the parties with an opportunity to settle the case. If such an opportunity should arise, it is the client’s decision whether or not to accept a pre-trial settlement. There are multiple factors that will be considered when advising our clients regarding a potential pre-trial settlement. In most cases, we try to evaluate the potential jury verdict and estimate the costs associated with a trial in order to project the amount of money our client would likely receive “in their pocket” after a verdict. This amount is then compared to the amount our client will receive “in their pocket” if the proposed settlement offer is accepted. A pre-trial settlement is recommended when these two amounts compare favorably after taking all known factors into account.
Ready for Trial
In the event that your case does not settle, Anzellotti, Sperling, Pazol & Small will take all actions necessary to prepare the case for trial. Our preparation will include using our experience to develop trial strategies intended to maximize your result.
If you or a love on has been injury due to the negligence of another, contact the team of Ohio personal injury attorneys at Anzellotti, Sperling, Pazol & Small Today. Consultations are always free, and we charge No Fee Unless We Recover Money for You.