One of the most common questions of all new clients regarding their case is “How long does the entire process take?” This blog is intended to answer that question through a series of articles.
The first thing that a new client does is 1) provide all details of the accident 2) all details of the client’s personal background (name, date of birth, home address, etc). 3) provide any documentation about an accident (e.g., Police Report, if the client already has it, Photos taken at the scene, Photos of client’s injuries, and Photos of damage to property, e.g., client’s car post-accident). The client also signs HIIPA authorizations in order for our law firm to obtain the medical records of the client.
This is the phase called “intake” and it is essential that all details of a person and the accident are recorded properly. It is this information that your lawyer can start to prepare his case on liability and damages. An investigator is usually summoned to fill in the gaps of information, but generally speaking the “intake” contains the majority of information that is needed to begin a lawsuit.
If the client states that there are witnesses, we follow up (first by letter, than by an in person meeting). The witnesses need to be spoken to as soon as reasonably practicable because their memory is fresh and their impression of the events leading to the occurrence are clear.
Sometimes it is important to follow up with an investigator to take clearer photos of an accident scene. While the investigator is at the scene, he should also canvass the area for witnesses and video surveillance cameras.
GOOGLE searches can uncover information about the defendant. If the defendant is a person, then perhaps a criminal conviction or other impeaching evidence may be revealed in a GOOGLE search. If the defendant is a business, then there may be information that can be helpful to show that it was negligent in some way (e.g., a bar that serves alcohol may have had numerous altercations in it and if you are trying to prove in a premises assault case that the owners were aware of prior dangerous situations, this information may be helpful).
The next article will explain how we process medical authorizations and how we compile all medical evidence for your case.