Process and Timeline of a Car Collision Case
This timeline has been created to assist clients in understanding the process and procedures of a typical personal injury / automobile collision case. Your focus should always be on healing from any injuries that you may have. Car collisions can be traumatic events physically as well as mentally. Given that, our goal is to assist you through the legal process so that is not an additional burden on you. Our firm's employees have more than 50+ combined years of experience in dealing with personal injury lawsuits. We work diligently ensuring every client's file is set up to maximize their recovery. That being said, we recognize that we can always improve our communication with clients so that you too understand this often-convoluted process. If you have any questions or concerns, we are always happy to discuss your case in more depth with you via telephone or email.
- Post-collision, the first steps our firm takes is to have every client fill out our intake forms. These forms ask for a significant amount of information. Each document has a purpose and is important to us providing complete representation. When we receive these forms back from clients, our staff enters the information into our online database. This database creates personalized portals for each client and allows us to distill the information from the intake forms while also linking all related contacts. During this process, we will take notice of any missing information and request documents from all relevant parties. We also will make first contact with the insurance company and medical providers so that our representation is known to them. Generally, there will also be additional issues that we need to address with you and/or obtain additional information.
- After we open the file and collect or request missing information, the second major step in the pre-litigation process is for you to continue any treatment. Your doctors or medical providers may also refer you to other specialists. Always listen to the medical advice of your providers and follow their treatment recommendations. Inform us of any new providers that you may see so that we can request a copy those records and bills. Ultimately, we will need this documentation to fully evaluate and analyze your case. The sooner that we get the information, the easier it is for us to guide you through the case process.
- At some point, your treatment will either conclude or reach a stage known as Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI). This is usually the third step in a personal injury case. Maximum medical improvement basically means that your remaining symptoms may be permanent and your focus shifts to managing symptoms instead of completely eliminating them. Your providers will make this determination. At that point, our office will collect updated medical records and bills from all your providers. Depending on the unique circumstances of your case, you may also see other medical professionals who can estimate the potential need and costs of future medical care for your injuries. In some cases, a permanent impairment evaluation will be done to determine if you have a ratable whole person impairment. Furthermore, evaluations from a vocational economist may be recommended to quantify your past and future loss of earnings and loss of earnings capacity. We will discuss these issues with you if we believe they will be beneficial for your specific case.
- The fourth and final pre-litigation step in most cases is to send an offer of settlement to the applicable insurance company. This offer of settlement will communicate why we feel the defendant in your case should be held liable for your damages. We will organize your medical records and bills so that it is clear how we calculated your damages. Our settlement packages functions in many ways as a summary of your entire case with all the necessary documents attached to support that summary. Sometimes a case can be negotiated or settled entirely at this stage. Please note, the process may be slightly different if your case involves an uninsured or underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) claim. We can explain the difference to you at the applicable time depending on your specific case needs.
Please also note, all of this information is for a typical personal injury case. However, each case will have unique wrinkles that could change the order or the entire pre-litigation process. In addition, this information is only for the pre-litigation process. If the case does not settle or the Statute of Limitations is approaching, we will initiate a lawsuit to preserve your rights. At that time, the litigation process begins and features entirely different timelines/processes. If you have any questions or concerns, we recommend that you contact our office at any time. We are here to help you and guide you through this difficult time.