10 Steps Of A Personal Injury Case
Every personal injury case is unique, but each case must go through the same following steps:
Step #1 – Call For A Free Consultation
We provide free, no-obligation consultations, so you have nothing to lose by calling Allbee Law Firm. Consultations provide an opportunity for us to learn about your car accident. We will ask questions about where, when, and how the car accident occurred. We’ll also ask about your current and past injuries. Our goal is to learn about your case and what makes it unique.
Step #2 – Hire Allbee Law Firm For Your Personal Injury
Once we have confirmed that all of your questions have been answered, you will be able to sign a contract with Allbee Law Firm. The contract allows us to start gathering information on your behalf, set up your claim for your, and start building your case.
One important part of the personal injury contract is the payment arrangement. Many lawyers charge hundreds of dollars per hour to work on legal matters. But you didn’t cause the car accident, right? So why should you have to pay for an attorney out of your pocket? Well, the good news is that you won’t. At Allbee Law Firm, we won’t charge hourly fees to help you. Our compensation for helping you comes in the form of a contingency fee, which means that we receive a portion of the amount that we are able to help you collect. Contingency fees make it possible for every injured person to hire an experienced car accident attorney regardless of their financial situation. Contingency fees also motivate us to fight for the maximum amount of compensation. Keep in mind that Allbee Law Firm will only receive compensation if you receive compensation.
A car accident contract will also include information that provides clarity for everyone involved. For example, the contract will specify that we are representing you for a car accident and not for a divorce, traffic ticket, or other legal matter. The contract also includes our promise to diligently represent you, advance any expenses associated with the case, and communicate all settlement offers to you.
Step #3 – Get Medical Treatment
Many health insurance plans won’t cover medical treatment for personal injury victims. This is partially due to health insurance companies believing that the at-fault driver’s car insurance carrier should pay for your medical expenses. The uncertainty of who will pay for a car accident victim’s medical treatment has caused many doctors to not treat people who have suffered a personal injury.
One of the biggest perks of hiring an experienced car accident lawyer is that we can help you find medical providers who will not expect you to pay out of pocket for your therapy. Instead, these doctors will wait until they are able to be paid directly from your settlement.
In order to receive medical treatment without paying out of pocket, Allbee Law Firm will send the medical provider a Letter of Protection. A Letter of Protection is an agreement where we promise doctors, chiropractors, and other medical providers that we will make sure they are paid for their services once the case is resolved. If needed, Allbee Law Firm can help you find a medical provider near your home or work who will accept a Letter of Protection.
Step #4 – Negotiations
With few exceptions, Allbee Law Firm will not negotiate your
case until you are released from medical treatment. This is because it is important to know the full extent of your injuries. Also, it wouldn’t make sense to settle your case for $20,000 if we later found out that your bills total $25,000.
After you are released, our staff will request all of your medical bills and records. We will then assemble a Demand Package. The insurance adjuster will have two weeks to respond to the Demand Package with a settlement offer.
A Demand Package will include all of your relevant medical bills and records, a copy of your police accident report, and a typewritten letter that is tailored for your case. The letter will typically include case law, a breakdown of your medical bills, a summary of your injuries, and a demand for a specific amount of money. We also include photographs and other materials that will help the car insurance adjuster see the true value of your case.
Most car accident insurance adjusters will give an initial settlement offer that is unreasonably low. Car insurance carriers hope that attorneys will take the first offer and go away.
Our negotiation team will typically have numerous phone calls with insurance adjusters. We will negotiate, back and forth, until the car accident insurance adjuster has offered a fair amount or we have reached a stalemate. During the negotiation process, we will also include you when discussing the settlement offers, counter demands, and negotiation strategies.
Step #5 – Settlement / Litigation Review
Once we have determined the car accident adjuster’s top offer, we will have an in-depth discussion with you. During this discussion, we will share our opinion regarding whether the settlement offer represents a fair amount of your personal injuries and settlement and trial outcomes for cases that are somewhat similar to yours. We will also provide counsel as to whether we advise settling or not. At the end of the day, it’s important to keep in mind that we work for you. The decision to settle or pursue other avenues is up to you.
Step #6 – Settling Your Personal Injury Case
If you decide to settle your case, we will inform the personal injury insurance adjuster. The adjuster will then mail or fax a release to Allbee Law Firm. We will contact you once we receive the release.
Once you have agreed to accept the settlement offer, we will also reach out to your medical providers to negotiate your medical bills. Many medical providers will agree to reduce their bill if they don’t have to wait for your case to trial. This will allow you to receive more money in your pocket.
The car accident release is an agreement wherein you agree to release all claims against the driver who caused your personal injury and their insurance company. The release also specifies the settlement amount that the insurance company has offered you.
Many insurance companies require personal injury releases to be notarized. We have multiple notaries on our staff, so you are welcome to stop by one of our offices and have your release notarized for free. You are also welcome to sign the release in front of another notary if that is more convenient.
Once the release is signed, we will fax the release to the car accident insurance adjuster. The adjuster will then mail a settlement check to Allbee Law Firm. The check will be a lump sum. In other words, there will be one check that covers your compensation for pain and suffering as well as your medical bills, lost wages, attorney’s fees, and case expenses. The check will be deposited into Allbee Law Firm’s trust account. Individual checks will then be written to you, your medical providers, Allbee Law Firm, and any other parties, if any, that are owed compensation for your car accident.
Step #7 – Filing a Lawsuit
In Texas, a lawsuit begins once a petition is filed. The petition specifies who the parties to the lawsuit are, what happened, and the compensation that is being sought. The person who caused the car accident will be named as the defendant and served with notice of the lawsuit. Once the defendant is served, they will turn the papers over to their car insurance carrier. The car insurance carrier will appoint an attorney to represent the defendant.
Step #8 – Discovery
Once the defendant’s attorney files an answer to the lawsuit, discovery will begin. Discovery is the process where the parties exchange information that is relevant to the car accident lawsuit. Discovery usually involves answering written questions from the other party, providing documentation that is related to the car accident, and disclosing other information that is related.
The discovery process usually includes depositions. Depositions are statements that are given, under oath, in front of a court reporter. Usually, the defendant’s attorney will ask you questions about your background, how the accident occurred, your injuries, and the treatment you received. Allbee Law Firm always schedules a deposition preparation meeting with our clients so that they can be prepared and comfortable.
Step #9 Mediation
Some counties, such as Dallas County, require all car accident lawsuits to be mediated. Mediation is an opportunity to have a third lawyer look at the strengths and weaknesses of your case. The parties will then use the mediator to go back and forth with settlement offers and demands until the case settles or the parties reach a stalemate.
If the case settles at mediation, the process is similar to the steps previously discussed in the settlement section above. The major difference is that a Motion to Non-suit will be filed with the court, in addition to having a release signed. A Non-Suit is a document that formally requests to have the lawsuit dismissed.
Step #10 – Trial
Cases that don’t settle at mediation will likely go to trial. The trial can be a bit complicated to describe, but this is where a jury is selected, the facts of your personal injury are presented, and a jury will determine the outcome. A trial can be as short as one day or last for weeks. The length of your trial will mostly depend on the amount of evidence that needs to be presented and the amount of testimony that needs to be heard.
After a trial, we will send a judgment to the defense lawyer for their signature, which will then be filed with the court. The order is a written confirmation of how much the jury awarded you. The order will also include a request to have the other party pay pre-judgment interest and your taxable court costs. Soon thereafter, we will be able to call you with the good news that we have your settlement check. All the bills and expenses will be paid, and you will receive a check for your pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages you are owed.
Contact Allbee Law Firm Today
The 10 steps of a personal injury case exist in most personal injury cases, but it’s important to remember that every personal injury case is unique.
Allbee Law Firm provides free consultations to personal injury victims. Contact Allbee Law Firm if you have questions about these 10 steps or other factors that are unique to your case.