11 Things You Need To Know About A Personal Injury Case
Your personal injury case is very important to you. In today’s society, insurance companies have immense power, money, and influence. Unfortunately, if you deal directly with them, you will seldom if ever receive a full and fair settlement. If you have been injured as a result of the negligence of someone else, Dozier Law, P.C. will "fight" for you against the insurance companies so that you will receive what you deserve – full and fair compensation for your injuries.
1.Your case will be investigated, and a Demand Package will be sent to the at-fault party’s insurance company.
Your Dozier Law, P.C. lawyer will thoroughly investigate all aspects of your case so that a clear picture of the other person’s liability and your resulting injuries can be presented to the insurance company. When the time is right, we will send a Demand Package to the at-fault party’s insurance company. This will include the financial, physical, and emotional impact that this has had on you and a monetary settlement demand. The Demand Package will provide the insurance company with the information they need to settle the claim and avoid a lawsuit.
2. What happens if the insurance company does not meet the settlement demand and the case is not settled?
If the insurance company representing the at-fault party disputes any part of the case and will not agree to a settlement in the monetary range that was outlined in the Demand Package, a decision will likely be made to file a lawsuit. The lawsuit will be brought against the person, persons, or company who caused your injuries and not against the insurance company.
In some cases, your Dozier Law, P.C. lawyer may decide to wait for a period of time before filing a lawsuit to give the insurance company the opportunity to increase the settlement offer. However, in cases where the parties are significantly far apart with respect to the settlement, litigation will be necessary.
3. What are the reasons that a case does not settle with the insurance company?
There are a number of different reasons that an insurance company will not settle a case;
a. The insurance company does not agree with the monetary settlement demand.
b. The insurance company is denying liability. They believe that you or another person bear at least some responsibility for your injuries.
c. The insurance company is stalling for time hoping that the monetary settlement demand will be reduced.
d. The insurance company does not believe that you were injured as badly as claimed.
e. The insurance company has policies in which they are very hesitant to settle cases.
4. How does a lawsuit affect me?
If a lawsuit is necessary, your Dozier Law, P.C. lawyer will explain in detail what will take place. The process usually involves the following steps.
a. A lawsuit will be filed in court. This is served upon the person, persons or company who caused your injuries. They are the defendant(s), the responsible parties, and you are the plaintiff.
b. The insurance company for the defendant(s) will assign a lawyer to the case and the lawyer will file a response. This will typically deny responsibility for the injuries, deny the extent of the injuries, and may seek to bring in other parties that may have been involved in the incident that caused your injuries.
c. The next step will be discovery in which both sides gather information from each other. The following are things included in the discovery process.
1. "Interrogatories" which are questions involving written answers.
2. "Depositions" which is oral testimony.
3. "Requests for production of documents" in which lawyers ask for medical reports, witness statements, medical bills, and other documents related to the case.
4. Preparation for trial with tips on how to conduct yourself.
5. The trial, if the case does not settle before the court date.
5. What are interrogatories?
Interrogatories are questions that the lawyer for the defendant will send to your Dozier Law, P.C. lawyer. This will include questions regarding your complete medical history, educational history, work history, and additional information regarding your injury.
6. What is involved in a deposition?
In your deposition, the attorney for the defendant will ask you questions about your injuries, the incident, and background information about you and your family. Your answers will be taken down word for word by a court reporter. The transcript of your deposition will be read by all attorneys and representatives of the insurance company and portions of this may be used at the trial.
7. Why are depositions important?
Depositions are important because it is the first time that you will testify about your case. The defense attorney will be sizing you up. If he or she is impressed with you and your testimony, settlement before trial will be more likely. The deposition is also an excellent preparation for trial. It is also important to understand that if your testimony in the deposition is false this can be used against you in the trial.
8. What is the likelihood that my case will settle before going to trial?
Your Dozier Law, P.C. lawyer will be motivated to settle the case if we can get a fair settlement for your injuries. We will also review the trial process with you if a settlement cannot be made. Getting to trial can take a year or more and could be a factor in a settlement decision. Ultimately, only a small percentage of cases proceed all the way to a trial.
9. If my case ends up going to trial, what happens in the trial?
In most cases, the trial process will go something like this:
a. The judge will open the trial by calling the lawyers, clients, and prospective jurors into the courtroom.
b. After the jury is selected (usually 6, but maybe 12), the lawyers will make opening statements. These are brief summaries of the case, so the jury has an overview before the testimony begins.
c. Your Dozier Law, P.C. lawyer will present your case by calling you and other witnesses to the stand to testify. This may include your doctor, employer, friends, family, and others who can testify about the incident and your injuries.
d. After each witness has finished testifying, the lawyer for the defendant will have the opportunity to cross-examine, to ask questions of that witness.
e. After any cross-examination by the defendant’s lawyer, your Dozier Law, P.C. lawyer may ask the witness a few additional questions. This is called re-direct examination.
f. After your Dozier Law, P.C. lawyer finishes presenting your case, the defense lawyer presents his/her case by calling witnesses for the defense. After each of these witnesses testifies your lawyer will have the opportunity to cross-examine the witness.
g. After both attorneys have finished all questioning and all presentations of the evidence, the judge will ask for closing arguments. In closing arguments, the lawyers have the opportunity to summarize the case to the jury and ask for a verdict. Your Dozier Law, P.C. lawyer goes first followed by the lawyer for the defense.
h. After closing arguments, the judge will instruct the jury on the law and how it should be applied to your case. The judge’s instructions are the final words heard in the case before the jury leaves the courtroom to deliberate.
i. The jury meets in a closed room. Deliberation to get to a verdict can go quickly or take hours.
j. When the jury has finishing deliberations and reached a verdict, the judge will call everyone back into the courtroom and the verdict is announced. At that point you will find out whether you won your case and if so how much money has been awarded by the jury.
10. If we win the case at trial, how long does it take to receive the money?
If you win the case and the defense attorney does not appeal, it usually takes a few weeks to a month to receive payment.
11. What happens if we lose the case?
If you lose the case your Dozier P.C., lawyer will discuss the possibility of an appeal. The appeals process is usually long and expensive, and you will be advised if this is appropriate or not.
It is important for you to have a positive attitude throughout your case, whether it is settled early, a lawsuit is filed leading to a settlement, or your case goes to trial. It is also very important that you make an active effort to recover from your injuries. Further, cooperate fully with your Dozier Law, P.C. lawyer and be honest about the details of your case with everyone involved.
The Constitution of the United States, state laws, and fairness dictate that injured victims should be compensated for injuries resulting from the negligence of a third party. This is the law, and it is on your side. Place your faith, confidence, and trust in Dozier Law, P.C. and you will obtain justice.
If you or a loved one are a victim of someone else’s negligence, you need a seasoned and knowledgeable Personal Injury Lawyer by your side. Contact Dozier Law, P.C., experienced Personal Injury Attorneys in Rincon, Effingham County, Chatham County, Bulloch County, Screven County and Bryan County, Georgia. Your initial Personal Injury consultation will be no charge to you. In addition, no recovery means no fees, so if you don’t get paid, you owe us nothing.