The Timeline of a Personal Injury Case in Alabama
If someone else’s careless or reckless conduct injured you, then you may be eligible to recover compensation for your injuries. You should get in touch with an experienced Alabama personal injury lawyer to discuss your case and learn more. The lawyer can review what happened to you and answer any questions you may have about your case.
At Serious Injury Law Group, we know how confusing the personal injury claims process can be if you have never been through it before. One of the most common questions that we receive at our law firm’s free consultations is, “How long does a personal injury claim take?”
Unfortunately, no one can tell you just how long it will take to settle your personal injury claim or receive a verdict through a trial. Every case is different. However, here is a step-by-step summary of what you can generally expect:
1. Getting Medical Attention
If you suffer serious injuries – or if you are unaware whether you have suffered injury – you must get medical attention right away. The longer you wait, the longer you will prolong your recovery. You may potentially harm your claim as well. If you never seek treatment, it will be impossible for you to prove your injuries.
2. Gathering Your Evidence
After you seek medical attention and start your treatment, you should take time to gather all evidence that you may have. For instance, you may have collected witness names, taken photos of the accident scene or exchanged letters or e-mails with insurance companies. You may also have copies of medical bills and receipts from other injury-related expenses.
3. Investigating Your Accident
Whether you were hurt in a slip and fall, car accident or other incident, your attorney will need to review the evidence you have gathered and perform an investigation of his own. The investigation will focus on how your injuries occurred, who should be held liable and how much you should pursue in damages. Additionally, your lawyer may need to consult with experts in accident reconstruction and other fields.
4. Reviewing Your Medical Records
In most cases, your attorney will need to review your records to make sure the attorney understands your injuries before negotiating with the insurance company. In some circumstances, the attorney may need to consult with a medical expert to review and explain more complex issues of permanency such as connecting long-term physical impairments to the accident.
5. Making a Settlement Demand
Once your attorney has gathered all of the necessary evidence, the attorney will submit a demand to the insurance company. The insurance company will likely take some time to review the demand. The insurer will accept liability and agree to pay the damages amount or may make an offer that fails to match the demand, which will start negotiations.
6. Going to Trial
Your attorney may continue to negotiate with the insurance company until one of two things happens:
- The insurance company offers a settlement that you are willing to accept
- You and your attorney determine that the settlement is not sufficient, and the case proceeds to trial.
Most cases end in settlements. In fact, less than 10 percent of civil lawsuits involve personal injury claims, and only a small number of those ever actually make it to trial, according to research from the Department of Justice. If a case goes to trial, it may add significantly more time to your case.
7. Collecting and Paying Out Your Award
Whether you accept a settlement or receive a jury verdict in your favor, your attorney will need to take care of some administrative matters before disbursing the amount owed to you. For instance, your lawyer will need to resolve liens attached to your recovery and resolve the costs and legal fees involved in your case.
Attorneys Chuck James and Gerald Brooks have spent their careers fighting for the rights of others. They can talk with you today in a free consultation about your case. Contact us today to get started.