What Happens After You Sign with a Personal Injury Lawyer?

You’ve just decided to sign with a personal injury lawyer. You’re relieved they’ll be handling your claim – but what happens now? How often will your lawyer call you? What will be expected from you? And most important, when will you receive a settlement check?

While we can’t speak for every firm, we’d like to share how things happen here at Ladenburg Law. And of course, it’s worth mentioning that every case is different. In other words, there may be different timeframes or legal approaches depending on what happened to you.

Given that, this post is meant to provide general information only. If you have specific questions? Call us (or the lawyer you’ve signed with to represent you).

Getting Set Up as a New Client

Once you’ve signed a fee agreement with your lawyer, they get to work on your behalf. Some of the tasks they’ll do behind the scenes include:

  • Send letters of representation to all involved parties. Basically, these letters inform everyone that you’ve got a lawyer representing you now and that any communication should be directed to them.
  • Gather additional details about your claim. We’ll confirm which insurance companies are involved and their policy limits. We may request police and other reports if they exist. Some injury claims, such as medical malpractice claims, are more complex and will require additional steps.
  • Setting up your file. For each client, we make sure that we have pertinent details about what happened, contact information, healthcare providers involved, and insurance details.

During this phase, you may receive a few calls from your lawyer or their team. At Ladenburg Law, every client is assigned to a paralegal as well as a lawyer. Our paralegals are highly skilled legal professionals who do much of the initial information gathering as well as keeping you in the loop about your case and answering any questions you may have.

The most helpful thing you can do during this phase is respond in a timely manner if we need information from you. We are happy to accommodate you preferred contact method (phone, email, text) and schedule around your work hours. Let us know how we can help – but do stay in contact. This will enable our team to keep your case moving forward.

What Happens through the Treatment Phase

The next part of the process, when you’re getting medical treatment for your injuries, is typically the longest. For a car accident victim, this may mean seeing the chiropractor and massage therapist. If you’ve been hurt from a fall, you may visit a physical therapist for a few months.

At Ladenburg Law, we’ll check in with you at least once a month while you get treatment. We’ll want to hear about how you’re recovering. This is also a good time to update us about any other impacts you can think of. For instance, perhaps you’ve not been able to return to full time work yet or you had to miss out on a special family vacation. We’ll make sure to note these details in your file.

During this phase, the most important thing you can do is to prioritize keeping your medical appointments. We know it’s disruptive and inconvenient at times. But your medical treatment is not only key for your recovery, it’s also key evidence for your claim.

What Happens When You’ve Completed Treatment

Once you’ve completed your treatment, your lawyer will have the fullest picture of the extend of what the accident cost you. It’s at this point a clear idea of the value of your case will emerge.

Your lawyer will now have a better sense of:

  • The total cost of medical treatment
  • The impact to your work or lifestyle
  • If any of your injuries will require future medical treatment
  • If any of your injuries are permanent

With this evidence in mind, your lawyer will advise you on what they think a fair settlement range for your case would be. Once you’re both on the same page, your lawyer will put together a demand letter to the insurance company or defendant. This letter is exactly what it sounds like: a demand for compensation for your injuries.

When it’s Time for Negotiations and Settlement

Typically, the insurance company will respond to your lawyer’s demand letter within 30 days. It’s in their best interest to settle your case quickly – and they know that.

What happens next could look like a few things:

  • An initial lowball offer
  • An initial fair offer, up to the policy limit
  • A few back-and-forths between the insurance company and your lawyer
  • Update from your lawyer about what’s happening

No matter what, you get to make the final call on whether to accept any offer. Your lawyer is there to advise and inform you, based on their past experiences and knowledge of the law.

If you choose to accept a settlement, we encourage you to read more about when to expect your check. (Yes, we devoted a whole blog post just to that topic!)

If negotiations stall or your lawyer feels things aren’t going in your favor, he or she may suggest you file a lawsuit. For that situation, we encourage you to read our post about what happens when a case goes to trial.

Don’t Wait – Call Your Lawyer!

While we’ve described a typical personal injury claim, we want to emphasize that every client and case is unique. Don’t wait for your lawyer to call you if you have a question or concern – reach out!

Here are some situations when we’d urge our clients to contact us:

  • They need help finding a medical provider.
  • There’s an update to their injury status (for instance, they learned surgery is now recommended).
  • There are employment changes resulting from the injury.
  • There’s new evidence they have access to (for example, video surveillance of the accident).
  • They have concerns about unexpected bills, mail, or phone calls related to the case.

And of course, it’s always OK to ask questions about your case or to understand the process further. We recognize that most of our clients may have never worked with a lawyer in any capacity prior to hiring us. It’s important to us that you’re fully educated on your legal rights.

Free Consultation with a Lawyer Right Now

Maybe you’ve found our post, but you’ve not taken the step to sign with a personal injury lawyer. But perhaps after reading, you think it might be nice having someone else handle the legal aspects of your claim.

If so, please fill out the short form on our website or call our office at (253) 272-5226. There’s never a fee to speak with one of our lawyers to explore if you have a case. We’d be happy to hear from you!

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