Case Set-Up First Step
So, you've just experienced probably what was the most terrifying event in your life, right?
You're injured, your car is destroyed, and medical bills are piling up. Everyone is saying that you should sue the person that did this to you. So, you find a lawyer to help take all the burden and worries off your shoulders. But, what can you expect after you leave the attorney's office from that first initial appointment?
After you've agreed to hire an attorney at Rittgers & Rittgers, the attorney will assign your case to a paralegal, who will start putting your case in motion. Initial contact will be made with all the insurance companies involved to let them know that you are being represented. Once they have been informed, the insurance company will only communicate with the attorney or paralegal.
Then, the case set-up begins.
There are many things that must be done in order to properly set up your personal injury case. For instance, in an auto collision claim, the attorney's office needs to obtain the following items and documents in order to build a case on your behalf:
- Traffic Crash Report;
- Witness statements;
- Photographs of the scene, property damages and injuries;
- 9-1-1 call;
- Recorded or written statements provided to police or insurance agents;
- Complete medical history of client;
- Complete treatment history related to the collision;
- Client's insurance policy and declaration page;
- Copies of client's initial medical records and bills;
- Health insurance information;
- Disability information;
- Wage loss information; and
- Anything else specifically pertinent to the client's claim
Once the case setup is complete, your case will be moving on to the next phase.
Building a DEMAND PACKAGE to begin settlement negotiations with the insurance company
During this phase, the client needs to send all medical bills they receive to the attorneys' office and to keep the attorney informed of all medical treatment, lost time from work and how they are recovering. This phase can take time depending on the severity of the injuries. This phase can be frustrating, but the attorneys and paralegals at Rittgers & Rittgers are here to help guide our client's through this process.
At some point, the attorney and paralegal will draft a demand package to send to the insurance company. This package will include a variety of documents such as the police report and investigation, photographs of the vehicles involved, photographs of the injuries to the client, medical bills, medical records, wage loss records, and other documents that support the claim. This package will be sent to the insurance company for their review of the demand for settlement being made for our client. When the demand package is sent varies from case to case.
The third phase is SETTLEMENT or VERDICT
The insurance company adjuster will review the documents sent with the demand package. Sometimes they request more information or need things clarified. This phase can be quick, or it may take some time. Your attorney at Rittgers & Rittgers will explain this phase of the process and will communicate with you about what to expect.
Once the insurance company makes an offer to settle your claim, the attorney will advise you of the offer and what it means to you. This step can be confusing, especially if you have never been involved in an injury claim, but we are here to make sure you understand how the offer to settle will benefit you. Not every case is settled after the demand package is sent. If your case is not able to be settled for whatever reason, the attorneys at Rittgers & Rittgers will file a lawsuit on your behalf and be there with you throughout the litigation process.
Our lawyers are prepared to litigate and have great success in jury trials. That said, we will do everything in our power to resolve your case for a full and fair amount before litigation is necessary.
If you, or a family member or a friend, have been injured, please call the law firm of Rittgers & Rittgers to see if we can help.