Pre-Suit can be confusing at times. When most individuals hire an attorney, they likely picture judges, courthouses, and juries. However, in reality, judges, courthouses, and juries come much later on. There is a great deal of work and preparation that goes into your case even before a lawsuit is filed. For reference, the time before suit is filed is referred to as pre-suit; the time after suit is filed is called litigation.
There are multiple steps that need to be taken in order for an innocent party to be compensated for his/her injuries. For example, in auto accident cases, a claim must first be reported and opened with each insurance company. If you have hired an attorney, upon receipt of a letter of representation from the attorney to the insurance company, the insurance company may not call or speak to you about the case; they must direct all questions to your attorney, unless your attorney has given them specific authorization to speak with you. If you are contacted by an insurance company while you are represented by an attorney, inform the insurance company to direct any phone calls and questions to your attorney’s office. Do not try to take matters into your own hands.
Once the claim has been opened, the insurance company assigns the claim to an adjuster. The adjuster is a representative of the insurance company and deals specifically with your case. From there, your attorney negotiates with the assigned adjuster(s) on your behalf to settle your claim. The time for negotiation varies as each accident is unique; in every case there are different injuries, damages, and policy limits involved.
During the time for negotiations, the insurance company may make an offer, or multiple offers, on your case. While your attorney may give you advice to take the offer or not, you have the absolute right to accept or reject each offer. However, it is important to remember that all negotiations must start somewhere, and in order to get a fair offer, much time and effort must be put forth.
If it appears that there is little or no way to solve your claim against the insurance company without court intervention, your attorney may file a lawsuit, which starts the process of having your case proceed to trial. To file a lawsuit, an attorney must file what is called a complaint. Once a complaint is filed and the opposing party is served, the insurance company will retain attorneys to represent their insured or to represent the insurance company.
From here, the parties involved must go through the discovery process, i.e.
gathering records, documents, and statements to request from or produce to opposing counsel. Along the way, attorneys for both parties may negotiate and make offers to resolve the claim having been given a much better insight as to your injuries based on the discovery provided. If your claim still cannot be resolved, then it may proceed to a jury trial.
Keep in mind that while your attorney represents you and is pursuing this claim with your best interests in mind, the insurance adjuster(s) and its attorneys represent the insurance company and are handling your claim with the insurance company’s best interests in mind. This is why it is important to hire an aggressive attorney with years of experience in dealing with insurance companies and with 100% dedication to client interests, so call Dennis Hernandez and Associates, P.A. today.