This information is provided to help answer many general questions that you may have about how we handle your case. It is not a substitute for individual legal advice, and if your questions are not answered please feel free to ask the attorney and/or legal assistant assigned to your case.
General information regarding the incident will be obtained when you are first interviewed. You will be asked to sign authorization forms which will allow us to obtain necessary information. You will meet with the attorney supervising your case and other members of the team that will be working on your case.
Police and other accident reports will be obtained. If you have them already, please bring these to your initial conference. Letters requesting medical information will be sent to all doctors and hospitals involved in your case. Anyone who may have been involved will be interviewed, witnesses will be contacted, and photographs will be taken. Any necessary information from employers, etc., will be obtained.
Evaluation and Settlement
After obtaining all available information, we will carefully evaluate your case. This evaluation involves assessing the facts obtained through records, consulting trained professionals such as doctors and nurses, and applying this information to the laws of the State of Indiana. This evaluation generally takes some time, and it is necessary that we first investigate thoroughly and have an accurate understanding of your damages. One of the most difficult requests we must make of you is to have patience.
After completing our evaluation, we will discuss with you the possibility of settling your case without starting a lawsuit and, if appropriate, attempt to arrive at an amount for which you would be willing to settle your case. We would then prepare a settlement proposal to submit to the insurance company.
Starting a Lawsuit
If we are unable to settle with the insurance company, or if we determine that negotiations with the insurance company would not be fruitful, we will file a lawsuit. This process begins when we file and serve a paper called a complaint on the other party (called the Defendant). This complaint lays out the general facts of the case and lets the Defendant know that he has been sued. The Defendant should then take the complaint to his insurance company, whose lawyers will then send us a paper called an Answer. Keep in mind that even though a lawsuit is filed, settlement is always possible, and many cases are settled just before trial.
Once a lawsuit is started, both sides have the right to obtain information about the case, including:
Many courts require us to go with the Defendant to mediation to try to resolve the case before we proceed to trial. The mediator is an attorney, but he does not represent either party. He is a neutral whose goal is to assist you in getting to an agreement. He cannot be a witness in any court proceeding, must maintain any confidences that you share with him, and can only tell the Court that we reached an agreement or did not.
If your case cannot be settled at a fair figure, we will proceed to trial. The weeks in advance are spent in a detailed review and preparation of the case. What is expected of you in this process and at trial will be explained in detail if the case proceeds this far.
The basic process for trial is as follows:
It is impossible for us to tell you how much money, if any, you will receive in connection with your case with any degree of certainty. Our goal is to obtain an amount which will fairly and justly compensate you for your injuries. You must sign off on any settlement. If the case proceeds to trial, we may have to pursue proceedings supplemental to attempt collections of any judgment.
As your lawyers, we must have all of the facts in order to represent you properly, even if you don’t believe that they are going to help you. Any information you give to us is strictly confidential and will not be discussed without your permission.
Important Information for You
Save and turn over to your attorneys:
Keep and furnish your attorneys copies of a diary of your complaints and activities, being careful to note:
We look forward to discussing your case with you, and hope that you decide to allow us to help pursue your case. Please let us know if you have any questions.