Anchorage Personal Injury Attorney
Anchorage, AK

What Factors Cause A Personal Injury Claim To Go To Litigation?

Many factors can cause a case to go to litigation. One of the most common is presenting a claim without enough time to resolve it before the statute of limitations. If you are approaching a statute of limitations, your lawyer has to file a complaint in order to preserve it. The other factors that affect the likelihood of going to litigation include whether the insurance company has assigned an experienced adjuster or a new adjuster. It is harder to deal with new adjusters because they have less authority. When you are dealing with an inexperienced adjuster, you sometimes have to file suit so the claim can be assigned to someone with more experience.

Can You Provide A Brief Timeline Of A Personal Injury Case?

I have a long-winded response to this. There is a difference between litigation and trial. Litigation is the following of a complaint, and the process of preparing through trial. Trial is very specific. Trial is presenting evidence to a judge, or jury and having them decide the merits of the case. It is what you see people doing in a courtroom, which is different from litigation, which takes time. The process of litigation starts with filing of a complaint. Therefore, when a case goes to litigation, a complaint is filed, and that is the listing of facts, which we are asserting on behalf of the injured party. The other side has an opportunity to respond to each of those facts in the complaint.

After that is completed, both sides engage in what is called the Process of Discovery. We start with initial disclosures. Both sides are required to share with each other all of the documents and information, which they intend to rely on if the case, was to go to trial. That means giving the other side access to all medical records that we would use at trial as well as any photographs, and reports of the investigation. It also includes identifying witnesses who have information that will support the claim, and witnesses to the crash as well as witnesses to the person’s medical care and recovery. This would include a listing of individuals who might be called upon to provide testimony on the individual’s life, and how they have been affected by this accident.

After initial disclosures are made, the parties can engage in additional discovery through written questions if the case goes to superior court, or through depositions of the parties, as well as medical providers. In addition, this is what takes time. If cases are filed in Alaska in our district court, trial is typically six months out from the filing of the answer. In superior court, cases are set for trial twelve months out.

How Long Does It Generally Take Someone To Receive A Settlement?

Once everyone has agreed to the terms of the settlement, typically, the insurance company will draft a release, and your lawyer will review it to make sure that it accurately reflects the terms of the agreement. Once that is done, they overview the release agreement with you, and once that is signed and executed, it can take anywhere from a couple of days up to a couple of months for a check to be delivered depending on who is writing the check. Local insurance companies can process checks more quickly than the federal government. Cases involving payment by the federal government are typically the ones that we wait the longest for.

Helpful Tips For Potential Personal Injury Clients

I encourage my clients to do everything they can to get better as quickly as possible. I know most people want to get better quickly. When people use common sense in approaching their recovery and doing everything they can to take care of themselves, there is not much more you can do to help your claim. As long as you are diligent in following the reasonable advice of your medical providers, and giving regular updates to our office about your progress, there is not much more you can do to really improve. Therefore, your focus should always be about your own health, and recovery, if that makes sense.

What Are Some Defense Tactics Used By Insurance Companies?

What I would say in response to that is the only purpose of an insurance adjuster tactic, is for them to pay as little as possible. Insurance adjusters will try anything to avoid paying personal injury claims. They will argue that someone went to the doctor too quickly, or waited too long. They will argue that the accident could not have caused the injury. They will comment that the person is taking too long to heal, and they will argue that the injuries were pre-existing. Know this, we have dealt with this issue before, and as long as you are honest, we can help you.

How Can Someone Contribute Towards Getting a Favorable Outcome In A Personal Injury Claim?

We typically get the best outcomes in cases where we have good communication skills with our clients at the start of the claim. It is hard to go back and remember things after months have passed. Therefore, if you start a relationship early with a personal injury attorney, you can provide regular updates, and have conversations on a regular basis throughout the course of your treatment and recovery. That is a great way to make sure that all those details you were experiencing in terms of the impact on your day and your weeks are not lost. It is hard to kind of go back, and remember information after the fact. I think we get the best results and are able to present the best case we can when we receive a lot of information on an ongoing basis.

For more information on Factors Leading To Litigation, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (907) 312-2006 today.