What Will the Beginning of a Personal Injury Case Look Like?
If you’ve recently hired an attorney to help you obtain the compensation you’re owed after a crash or other injury accident, you may be wondering how a case gets started. What sorts of things will your attorney do on your behalf? What might be expected of you in the process? Below are some events you can expect in the initial stages of a personal injury case.
Your case will begin with a factual investigation and analysis by your attorney. You’ll want to make sure your attorney has any photographs or notes you took after an accident, as well as records from your accident-related doctors’ visits, contact information for any witnesses, or names of police officers with whom you spoke after a crash. Your attorney will then likely use this information to compose a demand letter on your behalf, detailing an amount of money he or she believes will fully cover the costs of your medical care and pain and suffering. It is possible that a defendant or their insurer will be prepared to settle your claim immediately after receiving this letter, although further efforts are often required.
Submitting a strong demand letter is an important way to set a tone early on with the defendant that you have both a strong case and aggressive representation to help you get what you deserve for your injuries. This is one reason why hiring an attorney as soon as possible after a crash is in your best interests. The submission of a demand letter occurs very early in the process, and waiting to hire a lawyer until it appears necessary to go to trial on your claims means that you’ll lose this opportunity to possibly resolve your case early, and to put the defendant on notice that you are prepared to fight for what you’re owed.
If your claim is not fully paid after your lawyer submits a demand letter, he or she may then file a lawsuit in New York state court. The defendant or their lawyer will be served with a copy when the suit is filed, and will have several weeks to file a response to the claims made in the lawsuit. After these initial pleadings, the parties will begin to exchange documents and conduct depositions, in what is known as the discovery process. Settlement negotiations are typically ongoing throughout these stages. Your attorney’s ultimate goal is to obtain an amount of recovery that fully compensates you, and to do so quickly, so that you can return to your normal life as soon as possible.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident in or around the Hudson Valley, contact personal injury and car accident law firm Rusk, Wadlin, Heppner & Martuscello for a consultation on your claims, at 845-331-4100 for our Kingston office, or 845-236-4411 for our office in Marlboro.