– This is John Kellyfrom the Kelly Law Team.
I wanna talk to you abouta personal injury lawsuit and a step-by-steptimeline of what to expect.
So in full disclosure,every case is different when it comes to timelines, but all of them havesome things in common.
I'm gonna go over in generalwhat you might expect if you're in an injury case and the timelines toexpect what to happen.
We're gonna godown the list here.
The first thing is theaccident, the actual injury.
Within 10 minutesof the accident, you can expect thatyou're gonna be going through the scenarioof calling the police, getting your witnesses there, possibly getting treatmentfor your injuries, if you're injured badly youmay have a hospital called and an ambulancecoming out, 911.
So that's a scenario, butwithin the first 10 minutes you wanna if you are able to,make sure you get a report.
So if you're on theroads, you wanna call 911.
If you can get the police tocome out to take a statement.
If you're on someone's property, you wanna notifythe property owner.
If you are in acommercial business, you wanna call for a manager and have them take areport of what happened.
So you wanna start getting that documentationwithin 10 minutes.
Within one week of this injury, you want your medicaltreatment set up.
You may have alreadyhad that done, hey, if you were transportedvia ambulance to the hospital, obviously that's all gonnabe getting done already, you would have yourreferrals after the hospital.
But if it's a more minor injury and you're feelingpains and angst and you need toget some treatment, don't put it offlonger than one week.
So within one week, you canexpect that you wanna be to your primary caredoctor, or another facility that helps with injured patients and starting to getthat documentation.
The sooner the better on that, because insurance companies,they love to claim that you weren't injuredbecause you waited too long and there's a lot of peoplethat just like to fight through their injuries and say, you know maybe it'sgonna get better, but you want that documentation.
Within one weektoo, you can expect that it's a good ideato reach out to a lawyer for at least afree consultation.
Most lawyers includingmyself will talk to you about what you've been through, whatto expect with your injuries, what to expect to withthe insurance companies and that's the important one.
So you wanna reachout to a lawyer, least get a consultation.
You may wanna hire 'em later, you may wanna hirehim right away.
Really doesn't matter, atleast get a consultation 'cause it's free and it's gonnagive you some good advice, especially givenyour jurisdiction.
And if you're in Arizona,there's different laws then if you're in California.
You kinda wanna know.
Next and that kindof goes with it, is speaking to theinsurance companies.
If there's insurance involvedwith say an auto accident, they may be callingyou within one week, so usually one to fivedays after the accident.
They wanna get a statement.
They possibly wanna talkto you about your injuries.
They may even wanna tryto make you an offer.
Those are things to expect.
Insurance companies willstart reaching out to you.
If you haven'treported it to them, someone else may have reported.
That's why the consultation with an attorney is a good idea.
Generally, you don't wanna make a statementabout your injuries.
You can tell 'em,look I'm injured.
I'm looking at possiblyretaining someone.
Property damage, that's again, within one week to four weeks,right after the accident, you can talk to aproperty damage adjuster about your vehicle, what'sgoing on with it, where it's at.
Get that out of the way.
Typically, I have my clientstry to get that resolved within the first twoweeks of the accident so that they're in a newvehicle if they can drive.
They don't have toworry about that.
If it's on a premise,property damage doesn't necessarily comeinto play quite as much, but that's somethingthat can get settled, out of the way beforeanything else takes place.
Now we're a coupleof weeks into it, you've already gotyour treatment set up.
You've reached outto an attorney.
You've talk to theinsurance company, at least have a claim number.
Follow back up withthe investigation.
Get the police report.
So within one week, you wannatry to get that police report.
Now, some agencieswill tell you, look, the reportsare only available 10 days after the accident.
If it's a more serious accident, they may say it'sgonna be 20 days until we have this report ready.
But you wanna followup with the detective and ask him when thatreport's gonna be ready and get that reportas soon as you can because there's gonna be verykey information in the report and if you had anaccident on a premise, you wanna try to ask themanager for their reports.
And get any kind ofdocumentation you can, witness statements,people lined up so that if you do needto litigate the case, you'll have that information, documentations alreadygonna be getting set up.
Treatment, now this is usually the longest portionof your claim.
From the date of theaccident, you may treat for a week and thenyou may be better.
You may just go to theprimary care doctor, get some pain pillsand then you're done.
More likely, it'llbe three weeks, three months, up to a year.
I even have some clientsgo up for two years with their treatment status.
Now, the one thingyou wanna know is your statute of limitations and it's differentin every state.
You may have a one yearstatute of limitations, you may have a two year, and depending on the kindof accident you have, it'll be different.
But you have to bring a lawsuit within the statuteof limitations.
If you have a two yearstatute of limitations and you're treatingfor a year and a half, you gotta know,you may be having to reach out to anattorney to get them to file a lawsuit on your claim.
And if you're treatingfor that long, you'd hopefully probably havea lawyer retained by then.
But, the treatment phaseis usually the longest and you don't needto worry too much about the insurancecompanies during this time.
Just getting better,you're progressing, you're keepingyour documentation.
If they're calling you allthe time, asking for updates, it's not really a great thing.
You probably wanna just tell 'em look, I'm treating, I'lltell you what happened at the end of the claim.
So then after you'redone treating, that's the collectionof the records stage, and the summaryof your treatment.
That could takeanother week or two for you to get allthose records in.
One practice point, ifyou go to the hospital, you wanna request thoserecords right away.
They can take up tothree months to come in, so if you go to the hospital, just recognize that itcan take a long time for you to get those records in.
Order those right away.
But when you're donetreating with everyone else, say you go to physical therapy.
After you're done treating, that's when you want the fullbills and records from them.
Once you get those fullbills and records in, your hospital visitif you have it, any other records related,the ambulance bill.
You wanna includeevery single thing.
That's when you getto the stage of, now you're in demand.
That could take you aweek to put together, get a summary of whatyou've been through, demand on the insurance company.
What I typicallygive them, is 30 days from the date of the accidentto respond to my demand.
It could take up to 45 days, they sometimes askfor extensions.
But then you should be gettingan offer in on your case.
Once you get anoffer, you can expect at least a couple of weeks fornegotiation back and forth.
Sometimes it can go fasterif they make a fair offer, you may get it done withinthe first couple of days.
But, you wanna try to get asmuch as you can from them.
If you are able to settlethe claim at that point, they then typically willsend you out the checks.
It may take a week or sofor you to get that in and to get thatall taken care of.
Now, always rememberyou also possibly have liens to take care of.
If you have a hospital visit, you'll wannanegotiate those liens.
If you have providers thathave worked on a lien, like your physical therapy, you may wanna call them up and negotiate those downas much as possible.
Again, if you dohave hospital visits, a little more serious injury, it's probably a good ideato talk to an attorney 'cause they can work your liens and make sure you know that you're not gonnasettle your claim and then realize that youhave a big medical bill due and owing to the hospital, 'cause they can kind of biteyou at the end of the case, where they say, wellyour insurance paid a certain amountto us but we can do what we call balance billed and that's possible in Arizona.
Just make sure you'regetting all those things taken care of at thatpoint of settlement.
Now at that point,your claims done, you're throughthe whole process.
It may have taken you a year, it may have takenyou four months.
It may have taken you two years.
But hopefully you were ableto do that and avoid ligation.
If you do have togo to litigation, that's a whole nothertimeline, for another segment but it can go on for years.
It could be a year, could betwo years with litigation.
That's probablyfor another video.
If you have anyquestions about this, just feel free to call me.
It's Kelly Law Team.
You can call me at 602-283-4122.