We get calls frequently from people who are curious about some type of a crash or collision they’ve been involved in. They are reporting an injury and they are curious about the whole claims process. How does it work?
When a client walks into our office, there’s a number of stages that every case will go through in order for it to be adequately worked out and that every aspect of it is covered at the time it is finally settled. Lawyers are going to initially gather the information. They are going to request coverage from the insurance companies that are involved. They are going to gather all of the medical records from every medical provider that the person was treated with and typically even those providers that they may have seen five or more years ago before the crash. We are also going to monitor their treatment to make sure they are seeing their doctor regularly, that they are being treated for what the issues are and that their treatment is on course in order to get a resolution for their symptoms. In other words, are they making progress to their recovery.
The simple reality is that everyone doesn’t recover from a crash. Many times people will have a partial recovery but they might not be the same person they were before the crash. They may need surgery even years down the road. So, it’s important that this be fully known before we can start looking at a crash and try and put a value on someone’s injury. We need to have the complete medical records. We need an opinion from the treating physicians about what the future holds. Will the person be restricted? Will they be limited in their activities? Will they need future treatment and will this require surgery? And if it does, what will it cost?
This is a brief overview but these are the general stages of a personal injury case: gathering information, monitoring treatment, getting the final medical records and the opinions of the doctors, and preparing our settlement demand which takes all of these things into account after a long conversation or meeting with our client to understand every way their injury has affected their life. Then we put a value range on that injury in order to propose a settlement to the defense attorney or to the opposing adjuster.