New York City Personal Injury Law Blog
How a Personal Injury Lawyer can Help You through the Settlement Process
Posted on Oct 27, 2014 in Legal Terminology
Several people who have been the victim of a personal injury think that just because they hire an attorney, they need to go to court. While this may be the case in some instances, many personal injury lawsuits are settled out of court with the help of an attorney. Since most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis, wherein their fees are contingent on the settlement, it is in both their and your best interest to secure the best possible settlement in the shortest period of time.
Through the Litigation Process and Settlement Negotiation
Your personal injury lawyer plays an important role in the litigation process and settlement negotiation of your case. This is a specialized filed wherein your lawyer’s interaction and efforts might be sporadic. While it is acceptable not to hear from your lawyer on a daily basis, you should receive timely responses about how your case is progressing. Often times, reaching a settlement is a lengthy process that is affected by the following factors:
- There might be a lot of work involved initially, such as accumulating the evidence that is required to verify how the accident took place and how was at fault. Evidence is on the lines of photographs, witness statements, official reports, etc.
- Until and unless your doctor releases a patient or they have recovered from their injuries, a personal injury lawyer cannot proceed. Only then can they begin assembling medical bills, records, reports, employment information, and whatever items are necessary to document a patient’s damages. This is a time-consuming process, since some health care providers take their own sweet time in preparing reports.
- Soliciting an offer from the insurance company involved is often the next step that a personal injury lawyer takes. Since every case is reviewed by a number of employees of an insurance company, this too may be a lengthy procedure. Once a personal injury attorney receives an offer from an insurance company, they should send it to their client immediately so that you can review and discuss the possible courses of action.
- Your personal injury attorney will demand arbitration or file a lawsuit if negotiations with the insurance company were unable to reach a fair settlement. From the time they are served, defendants usually have about 30 days in which to file their response to the lawsuit. There are some defendants who are difficult to locate and some who might bring others into the lawsuit.
- Proceedings start after all defendants file their respective “answers,” and “discovery”. A personal injury lawyer will be able to instruct a plaintiff along every step of the way, and may even use the same discovery devices to substantiate their claim. This discovery can be a costly and time-consuming process, depending on how complex the case is.
- A trial date is requested once the discovery is completed.
Not Amateur Hour; Not for Your Sake
To keep a track of the aforementioned steps is a hassling and stressful process, especially for a layman which most of us are. This is why it is important to hire the services of a personal injury lawyer to take care of all the nuances and complications that can case will certainly entail. You have other things to worry about and trying to be an attorney should not be one of them!