The process of a personal injury case is always the same, no matter what type of case it is (medical malpractice case, civil rights case, car accident case, fall down case).
Once you provide us information about what happened to you, what medical injuries you’ve sustained, and the sort of treatment you are receiving, we obtain all medical records and do our investigation. In a car accident case, for instance, we go to the scene of the accident, take photographs, speak to witnesses, and so on.
Once the investigation stage is done, we send all the itemization to the opposing insurance company, and the settlement negotiations are started. If the parties cannot reach a settlement, we file suit.
Once the lawsuit is filed, the court sets certain time tables, telling us by what date we must complete our discovery (depositions, interrogatories, and so on). After that, the court will set the trial date.
Before the trial date, the parties usually go through a pre-trial settlement conference. You may or may not be involved in the pre-trial settlement conference, but you will always be informed of what happens at the conference. If the parties cannot reach an agreement there, the trial date will be set and the parties will go to trial, at which point you will be fully engaged in the trial process.
Open the yellow pages, watch television, or even check your mailbox and you will see advertisements from various personal injury lawyers who promise to help you with your claim. When under lots of stress, it can really be tempting to immediately contact and hire one of these attorneys. However, before you do that, it is important to carefully consider the reason why you are contacting a lawyer and what you want to accomplish. Most of us are very careful when choosing which doctor we will entrust our physical wellbeing to. When looking for a lawyer to whom we could entrust our legal well-being, we should be just as careful.
In order to determine if a particular lawyer is right for you, request a free consultation with the attorney whom you are considering to hire and ask some, or all, of the following questions:
1. What is your experience in handling cases that are similar to mine?
2. Were you successful in those cases?
3. What is your policy about communicating with clients? How can I reach you? How long will it take you to respond to my questions? Will I be able to reach you directly or will I only have contact with your support staff?
4. How will you be paid? How are settlement and litigation costs handled?
5. Do you have past clients who can serve as references?
6. If a settlement is offered that you suggest I take and I don’t want to accept it, how will you handle that situation?
7. Have you ever been professionally disciplined or had your license to practice law ever been suspended?
While these questions will provide you with some useful information, the most important information that you will gain from an initial consultation is information about your potential lawyer’s personality. Do you feel comfortable with him? Does he listen to you? Does he respect your legal goals? If the answers to these questions are yes, and you received answers with which you are comfortable with to the questions described above, then you have found yourself a personal injury lawyer.
Dolan Law Offices represent victims of personal injuries throughout the state of Illinois and welcome new client meetings.
Do all lawyers that advertise that they handle personal injury cases actually do so? The answer is no. So, as a consumer, what should you be looking for when you are about to hire a personal injury lawyer. For instance, is it appropriate for you to ask a lawyer about his or her:
Sure is. All lawyers who actually handle and try personal injury cases readily keep this information available. Most, including our firm, post some of this kind of information on their websites. Attorneys can verify their results without violating client confidentially.
If you’ve been involved in a serious personal injury case, you are more than likely going to need assistance and guidance from an experienced personal injury lawyer. If you’ve suffered for instance, a serious neck or back injury, a disc herniation, head injury, or a broken bone you are undoubtedly going to have to deal with unpaid medical bills and wage loss.
Of course, all trial lawyers who actually try cases have lost cases. I certainly have not won all of my cases. Nor has every case that I’ve taken to trial resulted in the jury agreeing with me and my client about the value of the case. (And because each case is different, past settlements or verdicts do not guarantee similar results in your case). The value of any particular personal injury case is determined by a slew of criteria, including:
seriousness of the injuries
permanency of the injuries
duration of disability
amount of unpaid medical bills
degree of fault of the parties
location were suit will be filed and where the case will be tried
An experienced personal injury and trial lawyer will take all of these considerations and others into account in determining both the reasonable value of your case and trial strategy. This is the type of person that you need in your corner when combating the opposing insurance company. Don’t be shy about questioning your prospective lawyer before hiring him.