It is part of our job to understand the processes and timelines associated with personal injury cases. However, we also understand that you might be considering starting a claim without having any real knowledge about how these things tend to work.
Every case is different, but they do tend to follow certain processes — especially at first. Based on that, we have put together a short description of the stages you might encounter during the very beginnings of an injury dispute.
It is likely you and the other parties may have contacted your insurance companies before you considered contacting legal representation. Many people do the same. What this means, however, is that insurance companies often have the advantage. They are typically in a position to provide you with initial offers that benefit them the most.
If it seems like the insurance company may not want to provide the full coverage you deserve, as is frequently the case with catastrophic injuries or commercial vehicles, you might consider getting a legal opinion. If you do, then this would begin the consultation phase.
During consultation, an attorney would meet with you to work out the initial formalities. Depending on the extent of your injuries, you might have this meeting at your home, in the hospital, in the law office or online. You would talk about the details of your case and possibly sign an agreement outlining the formal nature of your attorney-client relationship.
Depending on what happened in the previous two stages, you might then file official documents with the appropriate parish office. These could include a statement of your intention to start a case and request for an automatic decision in your favor, among other things.
After filing your documents, the initial steps are complete. The process then typically becomes more complex. There would be various routes to resolution, including settlement with the other parties, trial decisions and more.