The normal and most expeditious process for a personal injury case would follow this timeline:
- Retention (Selecting your personal injury attorney)
- Treatment (Medical treatment to get healthy)
- Negotiation (Attorney and Insurance Adjuster work out details of your claim)
- Settlement (Insurance company settles the case out of court)
When the case takes a turn toward litigation (filing a lawsuit) this is when it becomes a very lengthy process to be awarded any type of compensation. Based on the state you are injured in, there will be different guidelines that will outline the amount of time required to file/respond to legal documents in a lawsuit. Once the defendant (the insurance company) receives the paperwork and begins to build a file on your claim they will do several things to lengthen the process. You will be asked to get an Independent Medical Examination (IME) which will give the insurance company a chance to evaluate your injuries with their own medical professionals. You may also have to submit other types of evaluations such as a psychological exam. It is best to make sure your attorney is aware of all these tests and any offers you receive from the insurance company. Insurance companies will sometimes make a financial offer so they avoid losing even more when the lawsuit is finalized. The next step will include oral depositions of paramedics, doctors, witnesses to accident, basically anyone with knowledge of the claim. Once the trial begins, it can last anywhere from a day to months depending on the complexity of the case and whether or not there is a jury who will have to deliberate.
The most important part of the entire process is to always stay informed so you and your attorney are on the same page and moving forward in the most efficient manner as possible. Personal injury attorneys are well versed in all these matters so they will be able to guide you to get compensation and medical treatment. Before proceeding to the compensation portion of your case attorneys will need to get you fully treated so they can know what level of compensation is needed. The attorney will find a doctor on lien that is able to handle personal injury cases. The online directory PowerLiens.com is currently the go-to place for these attorneys because of the Preferred Providers listed on the site. These select doctors on the directory will be able to treat you at no up-front cost and will be able to properly evaluate all your injuries because of their vast years of personal injury experience.