FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What Should I Bring To the Meeting With My Attorneys?
The short answer is – everything. You should provide your lawyer with any documents that might be relevant to your case. Police reports, for example contain the names, addresses and phone numbers of all parties and witnesses to the accident. They also contain details about the conditions surrounding the accident that can be very helpful to an experienced lawyer. Copies of medical reports and bills from doctors and hospitals will help demonstrate the nature and extent of your injuries. Information about the insurance company for the person who caused your injury is vital. You should also bring your own insurance information. Bring any photographs you have of the accident scene, your property damage and your injuries. The more information you are able to give your lawyer, the easier it will be for them to determine how to maximize your claim. If you haven’t collected any documents at the time of your first meeting, however, don’t worry, your lawyer will be able to obtain them during the investigation of your claim.
What Happens at The Initial Meeting?
Every case is unique. When you meet with the lawyers at SISNEROS GRAZIANI LLP, we will listen to your story; review your documents and photographs; and advise you of your legal rights. The consultation is free. Any communication you have with us is confidential, so it is critical that you are honest and candid with us at all times. An open dialog will allow us to create the strongest and best case for you. Your active participation throughout your case is essential and will help ensure success.
Proving who is at fault for an accident is vital. An experienced attorney will know what evidence is necessary to prove your case. We will interview police officers and witnesses. We will view the scene and take photographs and measurements. Often we will hire private investigators to locate evidence or documents. Sometimes we will hire an engineer who uses the facts we have gathered to reconstruct the accident.
Your Medical Treatment
It is important for your lawyers to be aware of your prior medical history. Insurance companies will acquire your prior medical records in order to minimize the amount of money they have to pay. If your attorney is unaware of a prior accident, injury or claim, they will not be able to protect you.
We will work closely with you regarding your current and future medical care and treatment. We have knowledge and resources to guide you and advise you of available treatments and those to avoid. We will work with your doctors and gather their records and reports. You can help by keeping all of your appointments and remain under your doctor’s care until the doctor releases you. If you miss an appointment, let us know. Be sure to describe fully to your doctors all of the symptoms you are having.
The attorneys at SISNEROS GRAZIANI LLP are experienced in all of the ins and outs of insurance coverage. We have found insurance coverage in cases turned down by other lawyers.
Once your medical treatment has stabilized, either because you are fully healed or because your doctors say you have achieved your maximum recovery, we will acquire your medical records and bills. We will contact your employer to prove loss of wages and benefits. We will prepare and present a formal written demand package to the insurance company and begin negotiations. Most cases resolve at this stage. We will advise you of any settlement offers and help you to decide what steps to take next. If a settlement offer is not sufficient, we will discuss filing a lawsuit in court. We will provide our best professional advice regarding a settlement offer, but the ultimate decision whether to settle is yours.
If you and your attorneys decide to file a lawsuit, it does not mean that you will go through a trial. Negotiations will continue and we will explain your options including arbitration and mediation.
Arbitration is an out-of-court procedure for resolving disputes using an impartial third party, usually a retired judge or an attorney, to decide your case. Evidence is presented. Witnesses may be questioned, however, it is less formal than trial court; and it is usually faster, less expensive and can be a good option for certain cases.
Mediation is the best option in cases where fault is not at issue. It is another out-of-court procedure that utilizes an impartial third party. The mediator works with both sides to try to resolve the case.
Trial by jury may be your best option to maximize your compensation. SISNEROS GRAZIANI LLP prepares every case as if we’re going to trial. Our reputation with the defense insurance companies and their lawyers ensures that your case will be taken seriously.