Here is a breakdown, in steps, you will take when filing almost any type of personal injury lawsuit:
1. Hire an attorney.
2. Your attorney’s office will advise you regarding your medical treatment and what doctors you must see for particular injuries. In the meantime, the law firm will obtain insurance information for both you and the defendant driver involved as well as the police report (if available).
3. Once your medical treatment is completed, your medical bills and records will be obtained by your law firm. Also, any medical liens (doctors’ bills that must be repaid upon settlement and are contingent upon settlement) will be in your file at this point.
4. Your attorney will review your entire file, including insurance information, police report, medical bills, medical reports and evaluation of liability when preparing your demand to the insurance company.
5. At that point, the insurance adjuster will begin negotiating with the attorney. The adjuster can also deny or reject the claim or deny coverage for their insured based on information that was not available to your attorney before.
6. Negotiations can take some time depending on the facts of the case and the value of the case. It can take as little as 2 weeks and can last months to even years. Throughout this process, victims may need access to cash in order to support themselves and their families. Applying for legal funding is a great option to get access to money that is desperately needed in advance of a settlement for your claim.
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7. If a reasonable offer is on the table but the facts do not warrant filing a lawsuit, your attorney may recommend accepting the settlement. The only leverage an attorney has against an adjuster is the threat of a lawsuit or serious legal recourse – so, there is no way to force an adjuster to increase their offer without new facts otherwise.
8. If a reasonable or fair settlement is not achievable, and your case warrants it, your attorney may recommend filing a lawsuit. This will increase the costs and fees involved. For this reason, this option is generally not recommended in most personal injury cases.