When you have been injured in a vehicle accident in Illinois, you need to hire an attorney to review your potential legal claim and help you understand your options for compensation. Below, the skilled Chicago personal injury/vehicle accident firm of Stein & Shulman, LLC, explains the processes and steps involved in litigating an automobile collision case.
Your accident attorney will first review the initial facts of your case, as described by you and/or documented in any records you might have. A preliminary sense of the case can often tell your attorney whether it is possible to proceed with a legal claim.
If you and your attorney want to proceed with your case upon review of the basic facts, your attorney will begin gathering evidence in support of your claims. This will include witness statements, accident reports, police reports, medical records, and other pertinent information that will help your legal team build a successful claim for you.
It is likely that your attorney will consult with experts to gain an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of your claim. Experts will review medical records and other relevant evidence to provide their opinions regarding the cause of the accident, the extent of your injuries, and the link between the two.
Armed with the facts, supportive evidence, and expert opinions, your lawyer will analyze your claims to determine whether your case is suitable for filing in court and if so, by when it must be filed and where it should be filed.
After determining when and where your case should be filed, your attorney will draft and prepare a petition for damages against the driver who injured you, the insurance company, and/or any company the driver was affiliated with or working for at the time of the accident. Your petition will seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses you have suffered.
Shortly after case filing, your attorney will engage in a process called “discovery” with the defense. Discovery refers to document production/gathering and depositions. Attorneys on both sides will exchange written information and will conduct depositions of the parties and witnesses.
After substantial discovery has occurred, your attorney will likely attempt to engage in settlement negotiations with the defense. This might be accomplished through use of mediation or through conversations between the attorneys and parties involved.
If your case does not settle prior to your trial date, the next (and potentially final) step in the litigation process is your case trial. Your attorney will prepare you to testify and will present evidence to the judge or jury regarding the accident and your injuries.
To discuss your vehicle accident case with an experienced attorney and begin your own litigation process, contact Stein & Shulman, LLC, today at (312) 422-0500. Our firm offers free case consultations and will quickly review your claims to present you with your potential legal options.