How a Case Works – Personal Injury Accident Infographic
Wondering how a case works in Kansas? Our claim infographic illustrates the process from the time an accident or injury occurs through resolution. The road we travel is different for each client, contact us online or call today (888) 687-2400 to find out if we may be able to help you.
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OUR CLIENTS DO NOT WALK ON THEIR ROAD TO RECOVERY ALONE
Accident victim decides whether to hire a law firm, and/or which firm to hire. This may take a few days, or a few months. Victims who do not hire an attorney risk sending a message to insurance companies you will not send a demand, and you will not file suit. The result is often a lower valuation of damages in an accident claim.
Police reports of accidents are ordered, the firm conducts its own investigation which varies depending on the type of accident. This may include interviewing witnesses, visiting the scene of the accident, collecting pictures of damaged vehicles, and monitoring statements to insurance companies. If a case is more complex, the firm may also consult accident reconstruction experts, mechanical engineers, or other experts. We also gather all client medical records and assist clients as they continue treatment, if necessary.
Insurance companies are often eager to settle before a victim hires an attorney, especially with large policies. Once you’ve finished medical treatment, our firm presents a demand to the insurance company and we continue negotiations until filing suit and again until trial. Our firm prepares every case on a dual-track, so our clients are positioned for settlement negotiations, and/or trial.
PREPARATION OF LAW SUIT
If a client and attorney agree that the results of settlement negotiations are at a deadlock, the law firm conducts final preparation of a lawsuit. In Kansas, lawsuits must be filed within a certain timeline from the date of the accident. This is called the “statute of limitations.”
Our firm has found there is sometimes a “final offer” and then a “final, final, final, offer.” These are usually two very different numbers.
In some cases, this is the point where an agreement is reached for the fair value of a client’s case.
LAW SUIT FILED
A lawsuit is filed with the appropriate court. Kansas law also requires notice to a defendant shortly after a lawsuit is filed.
The defense has about a month from the date they find out about the law suit to file their response.
Questions are sent out by both parties within two months of the lawsuit being filed. Each side gets assistance from their attorneys and typically about a month to respond.
DEFENSE MEDICAL EXAMINATION OF VICTIM
It’s a common practice for defense to require a medical examination conducted by a doctor of their choice. Sometimes the attorney of the victim will set the limit or scope of the examination.
Both sides meet together to ask questions of key persons involved in the case. Attorneys for the victim often interview the accident victim and witnesses. The defense also conducts depositions. These meetings are less formal than court testimony, but questions are asked under oath and in the presence of a court reporter. Statements made at a deposition can be used at trial.
INVESTIGATION BY EXPERT WITNESS
If the case has still not settled, expert witnesses may hired by both sides to present theories for their respective side of the case.
DEPOSITIONS OF EXPERT WITNESS
Both sides will then conduct additional depositions to interview expert witnesses.
If negotiations are still unsuccessful, both sides may agree to or the court may order a settlement conference by a mediator, a neutral third party. The mediator reviews the case and the parties continued negotiations. Mediation usually lasts one or two days and occurs anywhere from 9-18 months into the process.
Trials usually take between four days & two weeks. Non-jury trials (bench-trials) may take as little as a day, whereas complex cases may last one or two months.
DISBURSEMENT OF RECOVERY FUNDS
Financial recoveries are typically disbursed to the victim upon delivery of funds and payment of liens associated with the case.