An Overview of How a Case is Handled at Cohen & Juda
Initial Consultation: (No Fee) This involves a detailed discussion of the incident which caused your injuries, as well as the losses associated with that injury. This gives you the opportunity to discuss your potential claim, while a lawyer at the firm has a chance to evaluate your case, and the possibility of a claim with you. It is during this consultation that it can usually be determined whether there is indeed a viable claim.
Retainer: If you decide you wish to be represented by our firm, a retainer, or contract is signed. This contract specifies that there are no fees or costs if we do not recover on your behalf. Additionally, a statement of client’s rights is provided for your signature. This explains certain rights you, as the client, possess. A sample of these documents are available upon request.
Investigation and collection of evidence: The Law Firm, once retained, begins the detailed process of investigating your claim, as well as collecting information and evidence to document your injuries. In this regard there are two separate areas in which information is obtained. These areas are the liability, or responsibility of the incident, and the damages related to it.
A. Pictures, police reports, incident reports, statements, computer searches or any other investigation necessary is taken to prove the defendant’s responsibility in any particular case. This must be accomplished so that the insurance company is both aware of the incident, and how the incident occurred.
B. With regard to damages, medical records from the past, and present, medical information from your current treating doctors, conferences with those doctors, documentation of lost wages including tax returns, and hiring of any necessary experts are done to document the damages in your case.
The amount of time it takes to collect this information varies. It may take weeks or months. Once all the proper documentation and evidence is obtained, we will decide what an appropriate demand would be to make upon the insurance company. We will make this decision together. Usually, the insurance company is given a certain amount of time to respond to this demand. If the insurance company is willing to attempt to settle the claim without need for litigation, we will entertain any offers made by the insurance company, and discuss them with you. At this time, the case will either be concluded, or the pre-litigation phase of the claim will be concluded and the case will move into litigation.
C. Upon filing of the law suit, the case becomes involved in “litigation”, or is “in court”. At this time, sworn testimony is obtained, depositions are taken, documents are produced, and the case is generally prepared for trial. If the parties do not resolve their differences during this phase, the case will go to trial and be decided by the jury. The Court orders the parties to go to a “Mediation” or settlement conference in an attempt to resolve this case prior to trial. This is probably the parties best opportunity to settle the claim prior to trial.