What Is The Process Of A Personal Injury Lawsuit?

If I can’t reach a settlement with the claims adjuster on a personal injury case, then the case will likely have to be litigated. In order to file a lawsuit, I will first draft the summons and complaint, which will outline all of the allegations of negligence or other wrongdoings of the defendants. The summons and complaint will be filed in court, served upon the defendants and sent to the insurance company. Then, the defendants will appear with an attorney and file what’s called an answer, which is a response to the allegations in the complaint. They will also file discovery demands which verify the allegations and injuries.

At some point, we’ll have a court conference and firm discovery dates for this process will be made. I will help prepare my client for and accompany them to a deposition. At the deposition, the defendants will ask questions and the plaintiff will give answers pertaining to the allegations in the complaint, the medical treatment and the permanent ramifications of the accident. When that process is complete, we will file a document in court that states that we are ready for trial. At that point, we’ll have a settlement conference with the court. If the case cannot be settled, then we will go to trial on the case.

Do Most Personal Injury Cases Settle Before Going To Trial?

Most personal injury cases do reach a settlement prior to trial, partly because going to trial poses a huge risk to the defendants. The goal is to prove the case in front of a jury and ask them for a sum of money. There’s no set sum of money for each injury, and you obviously want to maximize the recovery for any client in any personal injury case. That risk is something that insurance companies and defendants typically want to avoid, so I am able to settle most cases prior to trial. However, every once in a while a case has to be tried. I have 20 years of experience trying cases in front of juries and either settling during that process or reaching verdicts and obtaining recoveries.

What Should I Do If The Other Party’s Insurance Company Asks Me To Make A Statement?

Unless I am present with the client, I generally tell them not to speak to anyone about the accident aside from me, my staff or their medical providers.

What Factors Determine The Viability Of A Personal Injury Claim?

When I’m evaluating a personal injury case, there are three things that I want to determine. First is the source of negligence, or in other words, who did what wrong. Were you hit by a car? Did someone not maintain their property correctly and you sustained an injury as a result of that? Were you assaulted intentionally by a person? Secondly, I want to determine the ramifications of that negligence. Did you have a surgery? Were you scarred? Did you have a mental injury that resulted in the need for medication or counseling? Thirdly, it is important that there is an insurance policy or a defendant who has assets so that the plaintiff can receive an actual monetary recovery. If there is nothing to go after to turn that recovery into actual money for the client, then the time and effort of winning the case has been wasted.

Do You Advise Clients To Keep A Log Or Journal Of Events Following An Injury?

I generally have a copy of the reports pertaining to any doctor visits that my client has had. I don’t request that my clients keep a diary unless it is directed to me as their attorney. This is because I do not want the other side to be able to discover or obtain copies of that diary. So, as long as it’s what’s called a work product, which means that it is communication between a client and their attorney, it is considered privileged material to which no one else can have access. I have people call into my office and I take notes in their file about the medical providers they see and about what they can and cannot do on a daily basis as a result of the accident.

For more information on Personal Injury Lawsuits In New York, an initial consultation is your best next step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (914) 230-0040 today.

Glen A. Kurtis, P.C.

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