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Five Ways An Attorney Can Help In An Accident Case

Every case is different and every client is different. The approach attorneys take can vary greatly from client to client. However, with that being said, there are certain things that lawyers always have to do when filing a car accident case. Below, a Virginia car accident lawyer discusses the basic ways a lawyer can aid you in car accident cases.

The Basics

You always have to put the other party on notice of a claim. You have to make sure you can gather medical records, keep track of your client’s treatment and stay in touch with the client. Additionally, it is important to give them updates and let them know what’s going on in their case. You have to investigate the case to identify the correct defendants and to identify witnesses who can help you prove your case. Then you start building your case.

Preparing For Trial

We always approach every case as if it’s going to go to trial even though most cases don’t. There’s no way to know which cases will and which ones won’t, so we need to be prepared from the beginning. The sooner an attorney gets involved in the process, the better. We have investigators that can interview witnesses, take statements from witnesses, take photographs at the scene of the accident, interview police, obtain police reports, and obtain property damage estimates.

The steps are to gather the initial information, conduct an investigation, to start marshaling together the evidence you need to prove your case and then make a demand for compensation.

Putting Together a Demand Package

Once the client is completely done with treatment and we know the full extent of their injuries, we put together a demand package that tells their story in a narrative form, what happened, how the accident happened, what their injuries were, what the treatment was, and then how those injuries and treatment affected our client’s life.

We put it all together in a narrative form with all the documentation necessary to support that and make a demand for compensation. At that point, you reach a fork in the road. One side goes towards settlement and the other goes towards trial. It’s not always that simple but that’s a basic simplification of how it works.

Negotiating With The Other Party and Insurance Companies

Once you get to the demand stage maybe a defendant’s insurance company is willing to provide some compensation, but not enough. Maybe they are not willing to provide anything close to what the policy limits are and you’re of the opinion, after speaking with your lawyer, that you really deserve full policy limits. That’s something we will talk frankly and openly with our clients about. Ultimately, it’s the client’s decision whether we file a lawsuit or not, and we can’t accept any settlement without our client’s consent.

Filing a Lawsuit

Once you file a lawsuit, a whole new set of steps come into play for litigation and the basic ones are filing the complaint, serving discovery on the other side, responding to discovery that the defense propounds to the plaintiff, and then taking depositions and preparing for trial. There are a lot of intricacies that go into every case, and each case has different needs, but those are the basic steps.