WHAT DOES A PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER OR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY ACTUALLY DO FOR ACCIDENT VICTIMS?

In short, it is the job of a personal injury or an accident lawyer to help a person get fair compensation for a reasonable amount of money if they have been injured in an accident that was not their fault.

In this article I give a more or less a complete list of tasks that we do in my office in order to accomplish this goal and “work up” a personal injury or accident case, wrongful death, medical malpractice, slip and fall, or other serious accident cases from car, motorcycle, buses, trucks, and scooters crashes, in order to get the best possible results for our client. Every case is unique, and not all of these tasks may be required or relevant for every case. They include:

  • Initial interview with the client.
  • Educate client about personal injury claims.
  • Gather evidence and records from the accident to support the claim including: crash report, medical records, and bills.
  • Analyze the client’s own automobile insurance policy to see what coverage is available to pay for the client’s damages and losses.
  • Begin initial investigation of the client’s claim, including: gathering witness statements, photographs, diagrams, and physical evidence.
  • Analyze the legal issues such as comparative negligence and assumption of the risk.
  • Obtain and review medical records (past and present) or talk with the client’s physicians to fully understand the client’s condition.
  • Obtain specific reports from experts to support the client’s claim.
  • File any necessary claim forms.
  • Analyze client’s own health insurance or governmental benefit plan to see whether any money must be repaid.
  • Analyze and address the validity of any liens asserted against the client’s settlement recovery (various healthcare providers, insurers, governmental agencies may file liens seeking reimbursement for benefits already paid to or on behalf of the client).
  • Contact the insurance company to put them on notice about the claim and conduct periodic discussions with the insurance company about the case so that the appropriate reserves are set aside to settle the case.
  • Conduct negotiations with the insurance adjuster in an effort to settle the claim.
  • Decide with the client whether to negotiate with the insurance company or to file a law suit.
  • Prepare and draft the summons and complaint to file in court, if a lawsuit will be filed.
  • Perform investigation to locate the defendant so that personal service of the summons and complaint can be achieved.
  • Arrange for personal service of the summons and complaint on the defendant as required by law.
  • Prepare and draft written questions for information from the other side (called interrogatories and requests for production).
  • Prepare the client for their deposition.
  • Prepare for and conduct the deposition of the defendant and other lay witnesses.
  • Meet with client’s physicians to prepare for their own deposition requested by the defense attorney.
  • Prepare to take the deposition of the defendant’s experts, including medical experts.
  • Prepare the client for their medical examination by the defendant’s medical experts.
  • Produce to the defendant all of the pertinent data for the claim, such as medical bills, medical records, and tax returns.
  • Review and analyze the client’s medical records and billings.
  • Hire other necessary experts to support or prove the client’s claim, including: other physicians, economists, engineers, vocational experts, etc.
  • Review and analyze expert reports about the case.
  • File necessary documents in court as required by the judge, including: witness lists, trial readiness, pretrial conferences, etc.
  • Prepare client and witnesses for trial.
  • Create and prepare exhibits for trial.
  • Organize records and other documentary evidence intended to be introduced at trial.
  • Prepare for mediation or arbitration by organizing records and other documents for submission to the mediator or arbitrator.
  • Research and write briefs and file motions to keep out or let in certain evidence at trial.
  • Create mock trials or focus groups to prepare for trial.
  • Go to trial and try the case over the course of several days, or longer, in front of a judge and jury.
  • Analyze the verdict and research any issues that may have come up in trial.
  • Write briefs or motions following the verdict to obtain post-trial relief, including motions for attorney fees, or to overturn the verdict.
  • Analyze trial record to determine if appeal is warranted, if either side has solid grounds to appeal the case.
  • Research and write briefs and motions if appeal is filed.
  • Negotiate subrogation claims asserted by the client’s insurance company, workers compensation carrier or governmental agency that provided benefits to the client.
  • Negotiate medical bills for the client.

I have been helping accident victims get the compensation and justice they deserve for over 37 years in North Central Florida, including Gainesville, Ocala, Lake City and Inverness and all over North Florida. I strongly suggest you read my book, The Seven Biggest Mistakes That Can Wreck Your Florida Accident Case, which is based on my experience as a trial lawyer, litigator, mediator, accident attorney and personal injury lawyer since 1971. You can download it or request your free copy to be sent to you on this site or conact my office if you have any questions.

Jeffrey Meldon
Founder of the Meldon Law Firm