A Personal Injury Case Is a Process
Today I want to talk about the anatomy of a personal injury claim and case. Often, people come to me and they’re very misinformed about the process. But as I always explain to them, it is a process, and it’s a process that has a beginning and it has an end and we’re going to talk about that today.
Personal Injury Case Pre-Litigation Stage, Documentation, Submission to Insurance Company
So, in every personal injury case there is obviously a beginning and there is an end. And usually, you can think of it two ways: There’s the pre-litigation stage and the litigation stage. When clients come to me, I always explain to them that what we need to do is make sure we put everything together documenting the full extent of your injuries. We explain to them how we do that: The importance of medical bills, the importance of working with specialists, the right doctors and beyond the medical realm, we bring in economists. If you’ve been injured and you’ve been out of work for a significant period of time, we document what that means in terms of wage loss. And then, when all the documentation is assembled, we submit it to the insurance company and make a demand in terms of what we think is a reasonable settlement offer. Sometimes the insurance company will come back and often there’s a period of back and forth negotiation.
Personal Injury Case Litigation Stage
Sometimes we just get to a point where the insurance company offers too little money—too little compared to what we think the case is worth. And this is where it’s really important to have a lawyer who’s not afraid to go to court. A lot of attorneys, you’ll see, are what is called claims lawyers. They’ll make the claim to the insurance company, but when it comes time to go to court, they’ll farm it out to another lawyer or, unfortunately, they’ll try to settle the case for a lot less than what it’s worth.
At Paul Padda Law, we’re not afraid to go to court. That’s how we got a $160M verdict. That was a 5-year battle, and it was a hard-fought battle. And that’s not a battle we’re afraid of fighting. It’s a battle we’ve fought many, many times on behalf of our clients with a lot of very good results.
Personal Injury Case Lawsuit and Discovery
So, the second stage of a personal injury case is the litigation period. If we don’t get a good settlement offer from the insurance company, we will file a lawsuit, and then we will go through the process. And then, in the middle of the lawsuit, there’s a process called discovery, which is where depositions get taken, testimonies offered. The other side will want to depose our client, we’ll depose the person who caused the accident, doctors will get the deposed. Usually, the statistic is that something like over 90% of cases in the United States in civil cases end up settling instead of going to trial.
Personal Injury Case Trial Process
But there are those unique situations where we believe we just don’t see eye-to-eye with the other side and the other side is offering too little money compared to what our client’s injuries demand and what they’re entitled to. And so, we will go the distance even if that means going to trial. But it’s a long process. I always tell clients, if they understand the process, then they will know what’s involved, that we’re on their side and we’ll see it through to the end with them.
Personal Injury Case Lawyer as Storyteller
A good lawyer is a good storyteller. I always tell my clients a lawyer is sort of like a choreographer, or a director of a movie. In every movie there’s a good guy, a bad guy, there’s a beginning, there’s an ending, there’s drama, there’s tension. Lawsuits are the same way. If you think about it, someone is caused you injuries. It’s very important for us to show the insurance company you did nothing wrong. We document your injuries and show the insurance company what those injuries are worth.
There’s going to be drama and tension in terms of both sides don’t see it the same way. They’re going to want to pay less, we’re going to want more. But we will eventually get to a point where we will hopefully get you just compensation. And how well your lawyer can tell that story: The story that you’ve had to go through, the pain and suffering that you’ve dealt with following an accident, the injuries, the loss, the inconveniences, the impact it’s had on your relationships… That’s where an attorney’s ability to be a good storyteller makes all the difference. That’s where it’s important to understand that how to choreograph and put together a case and make it a very compelling case, so that the insurance company realizes, we can’t go to trial in this case, we can’t go to court with this case, these are not good facts for us. Cases are won and lost based upon how persuasive attorney can be.
Personal Injury Case Lawyer as Educator and Communicator to Jury and to Clients
Medicine is an exact science; law is not an exact science. Law is the art of persuasion and making people understand that you have a compelling case and that a jury, if the ends up in a trial, needs to act in your favor.
At Paul Padda Law, we pride ourselves in making sure that our clients understand A to Z of a personal injury case and claim and so that they’re fully informed and know what to expect. At Paul Padda Law we have a team approach with our clients. We’re on the same team. We fight to get the best results for our clients. A client who understands the beginning and ending, and all the things that go into making a personal injury claim a successful case, is a well-informed client and is going to be in the end a very satisfied client.
As I always say, if you’ve been injured in Las Vegas, better call Paul.