In our last blog post, we discussed some of the reasons why you may want to hire a lawyer if you’ve been injured. Once you’ve made the decision to hire a lawyer, you may wonder…”What happens next?” The legal process is very complex; therefore, I have outlined the major milestones to help you better understand.
When you contact us, we will meet with you to learn about your situation. The Fina Law Firm is glad to meet with you in-person or virtually, via Zoom, Facetime, or whatever method you prefer. The initial consultation is much like an interview where your attorney will ask you questions about what happened and your injuries. Once this step is complete, we take it from here for a while so you can focus on your health. Your job at this point is just to work on getting better, while our job is to handle everything else.
Immediately after we speak with you for the first time, our investigation begins. We will visit the scene of the injury to look for and preserve any evidence, and we will track down and interview any witnesses. We may hire an engineer or an accident reconstruction expert to inspect the scene and help us figure out exactly what happened. You don’t need to worry about any expenses, as we cover all costs involved with the case for you until we get paid.
We will also contact any potentially responsible parties and make sure they know that you have hired an attorney, and we will make sure that they know they are required by law to preserve any evidence they may have. This step is critical because video surveillance is only kept for so long, and dangerous conditions are usually repaired quickly. We probably spend the most time on this step and we are extremely thorough because we’ve found through experience that even the tiniest detail can make a huge difference in the outcome of your case.
We hope that by this time that your injuries are healing, and you’re getting back to normal. Once your doctors have completed their treatment of you and provided their final bills, we will talk with you about doing a demand. A demand is a letter to the responsible party or their insurance company that explains how the incident occurred, explains why they are liable for the incident under the law, discusses the injuries that you have suffered and how your life has been affected, and then demands compensation. Drafting an effective demand letter is an artform. The purpose of the demand letter is simply to convince the recipient to pay you money. Most people and insurance companies aren’t usually eager to give out their money, so the demand letter needs to be really convincing. Insurance companies aren’t afraid of being sued, so threatening to sue or threatening “legal action” is pointless.
Many law firms will simply use a “form” demand letter that they use in every case or will have a paralegal write demand letters, but we believe this is one of the most important parts of your case and requires considerable time and effort by your attorney. In fact, at some big-name law firms, your attorney hasn’t even gotten involved in your case at this point. At The Fina Law Firm, your attorney has been intensely involved from the very beginning.
In some cases, the responsible party or their insurance company will make an offer to settle your case in response to the demand. We will attempt to negotiate a resolution to your case that you are happy with. In some cases, no offer or only an unacceptable offer will be made. If that is the case, we will then proceed to filing a lawsuit. We’ll dive into that stage of the process in our next blog post.