Every personal injury situation is different and complicated in its own way. It can take two or more years for a complete investigation that can yield the compensation you seek. Although some personal injury cases are settled more quickly than others, it is in your best interest to be patient as an initial insurance settlement offer is usually not the best one you’ll get. If you have been injured in a car accident, it would be wise to hire a personal injury lawyer to fight for your case and help advise you when to settle.
Steps to Resolve a Personal Injury Case
- Medical Injury Evaluation – In a serious case, it can take a year or more to evaluate the severity or permanent nature of an injury but it is best to wait for the evaluation.
- Legal Steps – Your accident lawyer will keep your case moving forward by following these standard steps.
- Discovery – the discovery period can last up to six months and gives both parties an opportunity to gather information, exchange disclosure statements and other documents such as accident reports, medical records and bills, answer interrogatories (written questions to be answered under oath) and to undergo a medical exam by an independent doctor.
- Deposition – this is where the opposing attorney asks you questions under oath. Expect to be questioned about the accident and resulting injuries and about your personal background and life before the accident. Your accident attorney will prepare you for the deposition and defend you against irrelevant or harassing questions.
- Pre-Trial Motions – attorneys may file a motion (or many) to narrow the issues to be discussed at trial. A motion could deny certain evidence from being revealed or even ask that a case be dismissed due to lack of evidence.
- Mediation, Settlement or Arbitration – it is often required that mediation or settlement conferences occur before a case goes to trial. A neutral mediator will go over the issues with both parties to help guide them to a settlement. In contrast, an arbitrator acts as a judge to listen to the evidence and then decide the outcome of the case.
- Trial – If mediation is unsuccessful your case will go to trial where a jury will decide the value of your injury. It could take up to six months to get a trial scheduled and the trial could last two days to two weeks. Even after a trial, further appeals or motions could be filed. It is also possible that the parties could settle out of court even at this time.
Your best bargaining power is to be patient while weighing the expense of litigation and trial. It may or may not turn into your best interest to settle in mediation so it is important to have a personal injury lawyer representing and guiding you. You may have many questions for your personal injury attorney including how long the case will take to resolve once medical and insurance experts have investigated your accident and injuries, can doctors and hospitals be held off for payment while the case is being resolved or how much compensation is reasonable to expect in your case.
All your questions are legitimate. Hire the experienced personal injury attorneys at Tario & Associates and we will answer all your questions and get the job done right. Contact us today!Read More
We’ve all done it. We’re driving down the road and the cell phone rings. Our immediate reaction is to grab the phone and respond. The result? As a driver, our eyes, hands, and attention are diverted, presenting a potentially life threatening situation to ourselves, our passengers and the surrounding traffic. As an auto accident attorney in Bellingham, our firm hears about the tragic outcome that occurs from drivers using their cell phones on a regular basis.
When the ringing phone is notification of a text message, the implication is even greater since most people need 2 hands to text. According to the Washington Traffic Safety Administration, drivers are 24 times more likely to get into an automobile accident while texting, a staggering statistic. The State of Washington is so concerned about the change in driver behavior, they are preparing to launch a campaign similiar to the “Click It or Ticket” seat belt campaign, which will be designed to show the dangers of texting while driving.
According to the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, once that cell phone is a smart phone, the chance a driver will do something unsafe behind the wheel goes up dramatically. Associations, teen groups and celebrities are all pitching in to try to end this dangerous driving behavior. Seattle Seahawks Russell Wilson has even joined the campaign.
If you’ve been in texting-related auto accident,
call (360) 671-6500 today for a free consultation.