If you or a loved one have been the victim of a serious motor vehicle collision, you may be at a loss to know what steps to take. At Mingus Mountain Law Group, we represent victims of vehicle accidents in Prescott and Flagstaff, and offer a Personal Injury Claim Timeline to help you understand the process involved in personal injury claims.
It’s important to determine the extent of injuries at the time of the accident. Emergency medical attention should be the first step, but if emergency care is not available at the scene, go to the hospital or visit your doctor to have a thorough examination. Delaying medical treatment can be misinterpreted as not having sustained injury, or could result in further complicating injuries left untreated.
Consult an Attorney
Regardless of the extent of the injuries or damage, you should consult an attorney whose practice is devoted to injury law. A personal injury attorney’s first step will be to conduct a thorough interview with you as to the nature of the accident, medical treatment, record of injuries, and consequences of the accident including property damage, medical bills, loss of income, permanent injuries and more. They will obtain documentation regarding the incident, such as police reports and medical records, in order to build your case.
Demand Letters and Negotiations
If your attorney feels that your case can be settled, a “demand letter” will be sent to the adverse insurance carrier, or opposing attorney, itemizing specific terms and damages. Generally, if your case involves a claim of permanent impairment, or maintains substantial damages, an experienced attorney will likely file suit in order to ensure your compensation is commensurate with the loss.
Filing Your Lawsuit
While each state’s pretrial procedures are different, generally the litigation process can take one to three years for personal injury cases to get to trial. Each state has a statute of limitations governing the strict time limit within which a case can be filed. In Arizona, that time period is two years.
The Discovery Process
The discovery process includes sending each party interrogatories (a list of questions), requests for documents and depositions of the primary parties as well as any relevant witnesses. Discovery can last six months to a year depending on the complexity of the case.
Mediation and Negotiation
Depending on the jurisdiction, the case will likely be court ordered to mediation. Mediation requires attorneys and their clients to meet with an impartial third party who attempts to bring the parties to a compromise so that the lawsuit can be settled without going to trial.
If mediation is unsuccessful, trial is the next and final step. Cases can settle up to and even during a trial. If the case is unable to be settled at trial, the outcome could be decided by a judge or jury.
Mingus Mountain Law Group wants you to know your rights and what steps to take before you are involved in a collision. We represent accident victims in Prescott and Flagstaff. Our goal is to ensure you get the compensation you deserve and make sure you have an understanding of your personal injury claim timeline . If you or a loved one have been injured in a collision, we are here to help. Call Mingus Mountain Law Group in Prescott at 928-775-9398 or in Flagstaff at 928-779-9304.