Understanding the Personal Injury Claim Process.
Your road to recovery starts with our free consultation.
Life after injury can be filled with uncertainty, which is why we want you to know what to expect at every stage of the process when pursuing a personal injury claim. We offer you an initial consultation about your injury at no charge. Our team will review your information in detail, educate you about the law and your rights, and give you our honest opinion about what we can do for you.
When you contact us, please be prepared to discuss your injury in detail, including:
- When and where it occurred
- Any financial losses
- The severity of the injury
- What legal options you wish to pursue
Our team of personal injury experts will take everything into consideration and help you and your family decide on the best possible next steps.
Here’s how we go about doing that.
No two personal injury cases are exactly the same, but here are some of the general steps that we take when pursuing a claim.
- The Initial Interview
We meet with you and discuss the facts of your case in detail. You are welcome to visit us at our offices, or our team can visit you at your home or hospital if it is more convenient.
At the end of our meeting, we will tell you what further information we need from you and will discuss how we may be able to help you.
- Information and Documentation is Collected
In any personal injury case, plenty of information needs to be gathered. We will obtain much of this information, such as police reports, hospital records, and doctor’s reports.
Other information must come from you or your family.
- Discussions with Insurance Adjuster & Possible Early Settlement
We will typically discuss your case with the insurance representatives on the other side to facilitate the exchange of information and explore the possibility of early settlement. Some cases can be resolved through these discussions; others cannot.
- A Lawsuit is Started
If a fair and reasonable settlement of your case cannot be negotiated, we will access the court process by issuing a Statement of Claim and serving it on the defendant(s). This does not necessarily mean that your case will go to trial as cases can settle at any point, but it does signal the start of the process that will ultimately lead to trial.
- Documents are Exchanged
In a personal injury lawsuit, both sides must provide the other with a sworn list of all documents relevant to the issues in the case. This is called an Affidavit of Documents. Copies of the documents are then exchanged if they have not already been exchanged by the time the affidavits are sworn.
- Examination for Discovery
Designed to facilitate settlement and allow both sides insight into the other side’s case, Examination for Discovery is essentially an interview of you by the opposing lawyer.
All of the questions and all of your answers are recorded, and you must swear to tell the truth before the examination begins. A lawyer from our office will be with you throughout your examination and will examine the defendants either before or after you are examined.
Mediation is an informal meeting of both sides with an impartial third person, the mediator, who tries to help both sides settle the case but who does not impose any decision or judgment on anyone.
Mediation can take place at any time in the process, and not all cases are mediated. However, it is often an effective way of resolving cases.
- Pretrial Conference
Shortly before trial, the lawyers for all sides will be asked to meet with a judge in the judge’s chambers, usually without clients present, to discuss the case and attempt to reach a settlement.
Apart from any appeals, trial is the last step in the process. Depending on the complexity of the case and the city or town in which the trial will take place, it can take anywhere from a few months to a few years for a case to go from issuing a Statement of Claim to trial.
The vast majority of cases settle before going to trial, but since we are trial lawyers, we are prepared to take this step, and confident in our abilities to get you what you deserve should this step be necessary.