The New Hampshire injury attorneys at Tenn And Tenn, P.A. have been representing injury victims for more than twenty (20) years. Most of them come to the office and ask the same question – “How long will my accident case take to resolve?”
We have prepared a simple guide to help answer that question and to illustrate the procedures involved concerning the “typical” personal injury case.
The Accident Scene and Determining Fault
If you have been involved in an automobile or motorcycle collision, it is important that the police be called to the scene to document the facts of the event, obtain witness statements, and determine fault. A successful NH injury claim requires that another party or entity be responsible for the collision and your resulting damages. In other words, you must be injured through no fault of your own.
If your collision has resulted in serious bodily injury, it is critically important that you seek immediate medical treatment. Severe injuries will often require ambulance transport to the nearest hospital or medical care facility. Failing to seek medical care in a timely fashion may be viewed by an insurance adjusted as an indication that you did not receive accident-related injuries. This means that your claim for injuries may be harder to prove, and result in less compensation, if any.
Find a Qualified Injury Attorney
Having an experienced NH accident attorney by your side is critically important. Significant injuries will require months, if not years, of medical care and treatment. An experienced attorney will help you navigate the legal process. Managing medical bills, coordinating health and insurance payments, dealing with insurance companies, assisting in documenting damages such as lost wages, and pain and suffering are critical components of your claim and are best left to your personal injury attorney. Additionally, your attorney, when working on your personal injury claim, will perform client and witness interviews, obtain medical bills and records, investigate the at-fault party’s liability limits and ability to pay a judgment or settlement, and examine comparative fault concerns, among other tasks.
Once a client has reached maximum medical improvement and requires no further treatment or medical care, a demand package is forwarded to the insurance company or opposing attorney. The demand should set forth the liability and damage aspects of your claim. This is your lawyer’s opportunity to provide the insurance company with a full picture of your damages and injuries including lost wages, pain and suffering, and medical bills. A lawsuit is not always necessary to receive compensation for your injuries. Often times, we are able to successfully resolve our client’s claims pre-suit, by reaching a favorable voluntary settlement with the insurance company. If the insurance company does not offer fair compensation, the next course of action is to file a lawsuit.
Filing a Lawsuit in NH
The filing of a lawsuit in NH starts the process of going to trial. The litigation process can be time-consuming and expensive. Most personal injury cases can take up to two years before actually starting the trial. And, because there is a statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit, it is important that you retain counsel as soon as practicable after a severe accident occurs.
Discovery, Negotiation and Mediation
The process of conducting discovery allows both parties to investigate the claim for compensation, as well as any proposed defenses. It is during the discovery process that most settlement discussions occur. If a settlement is not reached, then mediation is another available option to try to resolve the claim prior to trial.
Most New Hampshire automobile and motorcycle injury claims are settled prior to trial. In the event they cannot be resolved, a jury will be empanelled and your attorney will present your case and request an award for compensation. The jury process allows you to request your peers offer compensation for your injuries.
For more information on personal injury claims contact the experienced NH injury law firm of Tenn And Tenn, P.A. for a free consultation.