If you are considering filing a personal injury lawsuit, you may have questions about the steps in the process, how it begins, how to determine the value of your injury claim, what the discovery process entails, how long settlement negotiations take and how unpaid medical bills are addressed. These are all valid questions that many clients have. After you have signed a retainer agreement to have Parnall Law represent you, the process starts with the identification of the at-fault parties and the preparation of a demand letter to submit to the appropriate insurance company or companies. Putting together the demand letter package involves gathering your medical records and other evidence to show how the injury has affected your life. This process helps us assess the amount of compensation to seek in your case and what a reasonable settlement might be. Each case has specific factors that affect its value and how long it will take. We will meet with you to discuss the letter before it is submitted and ask for your authorization to negotiate on your behalf.
Personal Injury Claim Timeline in Albuquerque Personal Injury Cases
Bert Parnall and the attorneys at Parnall Law are committed to answering your questions and keeping our clients well informed throughout the claims process. That is why we have prepared a series of short videos outlining steps in the claims process that may be unfamiliar to you. The attorneys at Parnall Law have helped thousands of people in Albuquerque and Central New Mexico obtain fair settlements and move ahead with their lives. Please call to schedule a free consultation if you would like to have us review your personal injury accident and discuss your options. Attorney Bert Parnall is available to answer your legal questions.
Preparing the demand. We will now begin gathering all medical records in your case to summarize your case, your treatment, and begin drafting the demand letter. If you have not yet provided other documentation that we do not have, such as photographs, receipts, evidence of lost wages, and any other out-of-pocket expenses, please send it to us. Also make sure you’ve completed your answers to the loss and enjoyment of life form sent to you earlier on. This helps us understand and communicate how the injuries affected your day-to-day life. It will generally take about four to six weeks to collect your medical records and bills. Sometimes it takes a little longer, depending on the response of the doctor or medical provider’s records department.
Generally, a draft case summary and demand package can be finalized in about 8-10 weeks. We will then contact you to schedule a meeting. At that meeting, we will invite you to read the draft case summary and the demand letter. We will discuss our perspective on the different elements of damages available in your case and what we consider use of demand. We will also discuss potential weaknesses in your claim that may affect the party’s negotiations. We will generally also discuss what we believe is a reasonable settlement range. We then ask for your authority to commence negotiation. After we receive your authority, we will send the demand letter.
Negotiation. You have now communicated with us and authorized us to begin negotiation of your claim. We recommended the demand amount, which is what we expect if we knock it out of the park at trial. Our normal practice is also to recommend and ask you to authorize a reasonable settlement range. Any reasonable settlement requires a compromise, based on an evaluation of the risks and cost of getting to and going through a trial. The range we recommend reflects those risks and costs. If you have any questions about the amount we discussed, please call to discuss your questions.
It usually takes about thirty days before we receive a response to our demand letter. You attorney will then try to negotiate a settlement within the range that you authorized or greater if possible. Those negotiations will generally take another thirty to sixty days, so it is a lengthy process. Please remember that rushing this process may negatively affect your ultimate recovery. However, feel free to contact us if you would like an update concerning whether the insurance company or other responsible party is responding. If negotiations are unsuccessful, we will discuss filing a lawsuit.
Written discovery. As I mentioned previously, the defense lawyer has the opportunity to send you written questions and has now done so. We will do our best to fill in the information we know. Then we will send you our draft answers for you to review. Please do your best to revise them, to make the answers accurate and complete. If you are concerned that the questions seem overreaching, that is normal. But the court, the judge, generally allows very broad questions even if the answers are not allowed at trial. If you have a concern, please write down your concern, but also answer the questions. Your lawyer can discuss the concern with you and whether or not the objection should compel us not to send the answer to defense council. Please make sure not to write non-applicable or NA as most questions require an actual response and the defendant is entitled to receive the information. Please send us your revisions within one week. We will then schedule an appointment for the paralegal to discuss your written answers before sending them to defense council. Thank you for helping us to prepare your case.
After settlement. Subrogation resolution. Your case settled, congratulations. There is, however, still another step to the process before we can disburse your funds. We previously discussed having to pay outstanding medical bills or subrogation claims. Sometimes it takes two to three weeks to get the health insurance company to calculate what they think they paid on your behalf or to get the medical provider to calculate what they think may be owed. We will then investigate whether a reduction is appropriate. Please be patient and let us do our best to negotiate a reduction. Again, rushing this process may negatively affect your ultimate recovery. We will contact you as soon as this process is completed to schedule your disbursement meeting, then we will generally bring your claim to a conclusion.
Closing. You have now received your disbursement. While I am certain you wish you never had to seek a lawyer’s help, we hope you are pleased with Parnall Law’s representation of you and your claim. I wish you and your loved ones good luck and good health. If you ever know of anyone who could use our help, we hope that you mention us and tell them if you are hurt, call Bert.
Working with an Experienced Albuquerque Personal Injury Attorney
If you have been seriously injured by someone else’s carelessness or disregard for safety, you should seek the representation of an experienced lawyer. Parnall Law Firm, LLC has the experience and resources to handle the most challenging injury claims. Insurance companies will try to take advantage of you if you do not have a lawyer standing up for you. Insurers want you to believe that you have no options or that you should accept whatever small amount they offer you. Insurance adjusters frequently try to delay settling your claim until the statute of limitations has expired, leaving you without the option of filing a lawsuit to recover for your injuries.
Our team of attorneys and paralegals will give your case the full attention that you deserve. We will respond to your questions and keep you informed of our progress on your case. Don’t sign anything or agree to settle with the insurance company without first talking to a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer about your case. Contact us today to set up your free and confidential consultation.