Criminal defense cases cover both criminal suits — charges brought by the government to punish an individual for an act classified as a crime — and civil suits — claims brought by individuals or organizations as a dispute over rights and duties.
Typically, the first procedural thing that will take place after you have been injured in a car accident, is that the attorney or law firm representing you will open claims with the various insurance companies that may provide coverage. This will include the liability carrier (the insurance company for the person/company who is at fault for the car accident); and often times your own insurance company (if applicable–medical pay coverage, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, etc.).
3. Medical Treatment
Get better. The next, and most important, part of the personal injury claim/case process is your health. You need to do the best you can to get better. If you have a permanent impairment or disability, you need to do the best you can to get to your maximum medical improvement. Your attorney cannot proceed with your personal injury claim until you have been released from medical care.
4. Gathering of Information
Once you have recovered as much as is possible from the injury you received in the car accident, it is time to begin gathering any and all documents relating to your personal injury claim. The relevant documents your lawyer will be gathering for your claim are: medical records, medical bills, photographs, lost wage verification documents, etc.
5. Sending the Demand Package
Unfortunately, when you have been injured in a car accident, or any other personal injury accident, the only real compensation available is money. Once you have been released from care by your medical treatment providers, and your attorney has gathered all related documentation of your injuries, you will send a demand to the at fault party requesting compensation for all of the damages you sustained.
6. Waiting for a Response
Once demand has been made on the other side, there will usually be a waiting time of about three or four weeks before you receive a response or counter offer to your initial request. This waiting time can be longer or shorter depending on the complexity of your case, and what injuries you received in the accident. Be patient.
7. Negotiation with Insurance Carrier
Your attorney has sent everything to the opposing party’s insurance company, and the insurance company has responded to the demand package. Assuming your claim was not denied, it is now time to continue the negotiation process. Your attorney will go back and forth with the representative for the other side, however whether a settlement is reached is largely dependant on you. Your attorney’s job is to inform you of all the facts and circumstances. A good lawyer will guide you in the right direction and give you the information and tools necessary for you to make an informed decision; however, you are the one who must ultimately make the determination of whether or not to accept a settlement offer.
8. Personal Injury Settlement or Filing of Lawsuit
You have been negotiating the settlement of your claim. Hopefully, at this point you will be able to reach a settlement that all parties can live with. If you cannot, the next step is usually the filing of a lawsuit. There are other possibilities such as mediation and arbitration, but in most cases mediation does not take place until after litigation has begun.
You were not able to reach a settlement, you have spoken to your attorney and your attorney has filed a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf. You are now in litigation. Litigation can take anywhere from six or seven months to six or seven years. In Omaha, Nebraska, the typical car accident personal injury lawsuit will take somewhere between one to two years.