Every case is different, and there is no one way to handle a personal injury matter. That said, below is a general overview of some of the steps in a personal injury case. As discussed below, the Lamber-Goodnow Injury Law Team processes personal injury cases and pursues clients’ compensation differently than other law firms. We break the mold, and we like to think that our attorneys have the flexibility and tools necessary to zig where others zag. We value the traditional process of litigation, but we think outside of the box and innovate where we see room for improvement.
Step 1: Consultation With An Attorney
Following an accident, it is important to consult with an experienced attorney about the specific circumstances of your case, including:
- Whether the negligence of another party was involved
- If there is a defendant from whom to seek compensation
- The extent and severity of your injuries
- Your medical costs
- Your legal options
Our team provides free, no obligation consultations and case evaluations.
Step 2: Investigation Of Your Case
If and when you retain counsel, your attorney should fully and independently investigate your personal injury claim, including police reports, the accident scene, photographs, witness testimony, medical records and bills, your employment history and earning power, and more. When appropriate, your attorney should collaborate with accident reconstruction experts, medical experts and other experts in a variety of fields depending on the circumstances of your accident and injuries. Your attorney should also examine the possible defenses of the opposing party and determine liability.
In many cases, your attorney may wish to secure vehicle data from just before the crash from the vehicle’s black box, which will tell us the condition of the vehicle and the road in many cases. Where video surveillance may be helpful to your case, your lawyer may also consider securing footage before it is destroyed.
Further, your attorney may contact accident witnesses and obtain statements. Your attorney should keep you informed and remain responsive to your legal needs.
In addition to undertaking all of the above steps, we loan some of our clients iPads and/or Google Glass for easy communication and document sharing with your attorney. We make use of several helpful apps to share information simply and enable video conferencing.
Step 3: Demand Package
This step involves a demand for settlement, including a demand letter outlining your case, including liability and damages (injuries, medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of life’s enjoyment and future medical care). The letter is then often reviewed by the opposing party, be it an individual, business and/or insurance company. In response to the letter, the opposing party will generally either reject the demand, make a counteroffer or accept it. The demand letter is often the most important impression you will make on the opposing party. Putting a quality letter together, therefore, is critical.
For this phase, our team often makes use of iPads. Where other lawyers just send documents and photos, we send iPads loaded with videos, photos and all documentation. We show the defense what they are dealing with before filing your personal injury lawsuit. Our team will seek favorable settlement from the defendant, preparing your case for trial from the beginning.
Step 4: Filing A Personal Injury Lawsuit
If your case cannot be settled up front, your attorney may work with you to file a lawsuit seeking compensation.
Step 5: Discovery Phase
Prior to trial, the opposing parties obtain further evidence from one another, and each is able to evaluate the comprehensive nature of the other side’s case. It is often not just what information you seek through the discovery phase; it’s how you do it.
When appropriate, the Lamber-Goodnow team aggressively seeks to turn every stone to gather the appropriate factual background on the case.
Step 6: Mediation
Before or after a lawsuit is filed, a mediator – often a current or former judge – may oversee mediation between the parties in an effort to avoid trial. Mediation is simply an informal proceeding in which the parties attempt to reach an agreement in the matter. The steps one makes in mediation can have long-lasting effects in a case, so it is important to have someone who is trained and experienced in the area.
We have extensive experience with mediation and handling negotiations. Our lawyers have been trained at many of the best negotiation programs on the world, including the Harvard Program on Negotiation, and have extensive experience successfully mediating high-value cases.
Step 7: Trial
If the matter has not been settled or resolved by the court via motion, the next phase of a case is trial. In this process, a decision-maker – often a jury – will evaluate the facts, determine fault and possibly award damages.
Our team consists of experienced trial lawyers – lawyers who know what it takes to win. While there can never be any guarantees when a case goes to a jury, we have a track-record of success we bring to the table in the trial context.
Step 8: Appeal
Depending on the specific issues in the case, the losing party may appeal a case. The appellate process can be quite different from the trial process, and it is often helpful to have experienced appellate practitioners work on matters.
Our firm has the benefit of having some of the state’s best known appellate attorneys who can assist with issues before various appellate courts. It’s not just winning the first time; it’s making sure you win at the end.
Speak With An Experienced Attorney Now For A Free Consult
If you have more questions about the litigation process, contact us online or call our firm at 602-ARIZONA (274-9662) or 1-800-ATEAM-LAW (283-2652) toll free. We are happy to speak with you about your specific injury claim and legal options.