A common misconception about hiring a personal injury attorney in Ohio is that doing so automatically means that you’re going to court – or that you only need an attorney if you already know that you’re claim will go to court. This prevents many people who need a personal injury attorney from reaching out to one and getting the representation that could help them reach a settlement without ever stepping foot in a courtroom. The reality is that the vast majority of personal injury claims that involve an attorney are settled out of court. That doesn’t mean that your claim won’t end up having to go to trial – if no settlement can be reached – but it does mean that you have a better chance of avoiding this with an attorney than without one. And if you must take the case to trial, you’ll have a much better chance of winning your case with the representation of an Ohio personal injury attorney on your side.
Negotiating for a Fair Settlement and Pursuing Litigation
When pursuing a fair settlement in an Ohio personal injury claim, there is a lot of work to do. Your attorney will obtain statements from witnesses, collect photographic evidence, gather any relevant police reports, organize evidence of medical ailments and expenses, and much more. All of this will be done in an effort to prove liability and the value of your damages. Your lawyer will use the information and evidence obtained to pursue litigation and negotiate with the defense or with the defendant’s insurance company for a fair settlement without having to take the case to trial. Because this can be a time consuming process, you might go periods of time without hearing from your attorney. However, you should still be able to contact your lawyer and get a prompt response when you want to know what’s going on with your case.
One thing that you’re attorney will be waiting for is the verification from your medical treatment providers that you have recovered from all of your injuries or have reached a stable enough condition for the lawyer to accurately assess your medical expenses. Until your medical needs are addressed, your attorney cannot establish the value of your treatment and ongoing care. Your attorney will also need evidence of any lost wages, lost future earning potential, and any future medical care that might be necessary for you. Some of the time spent on your personal injury claim will be waiting for the doctors and employers to report on these variables.
Once your Ohio personal injury attorney has all of the pertinent information, he or she will use that information to compose a demand letter to request compensation from the insurance company of the at-fault individual in your personal injury claim. This may take some time as the insurance company reviews the demand letter and determines what they are going to suggest as a counteroffer. In most cases, the insurance company will not concede to the demand letter, but will make an offer that is much less than the requested amount. You won’t want to accept the first offer, because you can usually get a higher offer through the negotiation process.
When your attorney receives the counteroffer, they will contact you to discuss and review the offer and evaluate the steps that you can take next. If you and your attorney do not end up receiving a settlement offer that is fair and reasonable in the course of negotiations, then you may need to go through arbitration or file a lawsuit. Once a lawsuit is filed, the defendant has 30 days to respond. If there are multiple defendants or if they are difficult to locate, then this may take even more time. If the defendant that you serve wants to accuse another party of liability, then this could bring in more defendants to the case, which, again, will require more time.
Once each defendant has responded to the litigation, your attorney will begin the process of discovery. This is where the personal injury lawyer interviews witnesses, experts, and other relevant parties in what is called the depositions. This is also when more evidence may be gathered and evaluated to prove your claim. This can take a lot of time if your case is complicated or disputed by other evidence. At the end of the discovery phase, your attorney will request a trial date which will be assigned by the courts. Keep in mind that you can still settle your case at any time before your trial date and negotiations may continue.
Contact Chester Law Group for a Free Case Review
Because so much goes into pursuing an Ohio personal injury claim, you want to work with an experienced Ohio personal injury law attorney who has experience, an attorney you can trust, and an attorney in your area. At the Chester Law Group, we have 19 locations in Ohio and the experience and expertise to see your personal injury case through to the end. Contact us today for a free case review.