While each case is unique, most personal injury cases follow a similar track. Below is an example of a recent case involving a motor vehicle accident:
As Paul’s vehicle traveled through an intersection, Danielle failed to yield at a stop sign and broadsided Paul’s car. Danielle received a ticket for failing to keep her vehicle under control and not obeying the laws of the road. Although Paul was wearing his seatbelt and his airbags deployed, he suffered whiplash and experienced disorientation, pain in his arm, wrist, back and neck.
First, get medical treatment.
From the scene of the accident, Paul was taken to the hospital via ambulance for treatment and x-rays. Obtaining immediate medical treatment to assess and stabilize injuries is the primary concern.
Second, call Kalil & LaCount.
Upon discharge from the hospital, Paul called Kalil & LaCount for legal representation. Our involvement from the beginning enabled Paul to focus on recovery instead of fielding calls from medical billing offices and insurance adjusters. Often, insurance adjusters for the at-fault party will reach out soon after an accident to take a statement. By getting an attorney involved in the process early, Paul was prepared to give such a statement and knew the potential traps.
Third, we negotiate with insurance companies.
Paul treated with his primary care physician and specialists to address lingering pain and discomfort due to the accident. Once he reached a medical endpoint, meaning that he received all of the care he needed, Kalil & LaCount gathered his medical bills and doctors’ notes associated with the injury, receipts showing incidental costs, and documentation of any lost wages due to missed work.
Once we had that documentation together, we presented it to the insurance company together with a letter setting out the facts of the accident, why their insured is liable, and the amount we are demanding to settle the case without bringing a lawsuit.
In Paul’s case, he had no lost wages and his medical expenses totaled $14,000.00. We presented a demand of $36,000.00 to which the insurance company offered $14,000.00.
Finally, if we can’t settle, we file a lawsuit.
If settlement negotiations do not end in an agreement, Kalil & LaCount will file a civil claim and the case will proceed through the court system. While the statute of limitations for personal injury actions in New Hampshire is three years, should settlement discussions reach an impasse we promptly move the case into litigation.
Once in litigation, a scheduling order will be entered which sets forth the dates on which certain events must happen, such as interrogatories, depositions, and expert report deadlines (collectively the “discovery phase”.) Each of these events provides an opportunity to engage in further settlement discussions. Mediation is also required and allows for a more formal venue in which a third party – often a retired judge – attempts to broker a settlement between the parties. Of course, if no agreement can be reached, a trial will occur.
In Paul’s case, we filed suit and proceeded through the discovery phase of litigation. Ultimately, the case was settled for $26,000.00 just before mediation. Following settlement, we were also able to successfully negotiate Paul’s medical liens to $0.00 to further maximize his recovery.
Let us know if we can help
Kalil & LaCount has over 85 years of collective experience assisting with personal injury claims and lawsuits. Regardless of the size of your case, we carefully consider your claim and develop a customized strategy to advance your interests.