What are the steps in my injury case?

While every case is different, and not all cases require each of the steps outlined below, this is a list of the normal steps that will be taken by your attorney in pursuing your personal injury claim.

Evaluate the client's claim, educate the client regarding the legal process for personal injury cases and determine any deadlines that apply.

Contact the opposing party's insurance company, giving them notice of the claim.

Gather evidence, including police accident reports, medical treatment and billing records, witness statements, etc.

Interview witnesses.

Analyze legal issues related to the case, including comparative negligence and any damage limits that may apply.

Review medical records and discuss the injuries and prognosis with the client's physicians.

We find out, by reviewing the client's insurance policies and contacting all medical providers, whether there are any liens that must be repaid by the client out of any settlement or verdict.

We decide whether settlement negotiations should be pursued or if suit should be filed in the case. Note that in some cases, suit must be filed before negotiating with the insurance company to obtain information needed to present the strongest possible case for settlement, or for other tactical reasons.

If pursuing settlement before filing suit is warranted, prepare the demand package, including all medical treatment and billing information, photographs of the accident, accident reports and any other relevant information, and send it to the insurer.

Negotiate with the insurance company to see how much they will pay to settle the claim without a lawsuit being filed.

If a lawsuit is filed, prepare the witnesses, the client and the health-care providers for depositions and possible trial testimony.

Send and respond to "discovery" (formal, written questions and requests for documents) from the opposing party.

Conduct any depositions (formal, sworn, transcribed questioning of opposing party).

Attend mediation and attempt to settle the case short of trial.

Take the case to trial.

Review the verdict to see if either party has grounds for appeal.