What Will Lewis and Tompkins Do For You? (Part 2 of 2)
Lewis and Tompkins is a DC area injury law firm that offers legal assistance to those who have been injured in accidents due to no fault of their own. We are currently accepting cases involving car accidents, truck accidents, accidents involving uninsured drivers, bicycle and pedestrian accidents, medical malpractice, slip and falls and product liability. If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident in DC, Maryland or Virginia, contact Lewis and Tompkins for a free case assessment.
In a recent article we gave an account of what it is that we do for our clients during the course of a personal injury case. The first article described the process of negotiation with insurance companies, which is done in order to reach a settlement without going to trial. In the event that negotiations break down, the next phase is taking the case to court.
Many other personal injury firms don’t feel the need to explain much about the process to their clients. At Lewis and Tompkins, we know that a personal injury case can be terrifying and overwhelming, and we make it a point to keep our clients fully up to date and fully informed about each step of the trial.
Service of Summons: This involves locating the defendant (and/or their insurance companies) and serving them with the summons, or notification that there is legal action being taken against them.
Interrogatories, Requests for Production: This is when we prepare and draft written questions and requests for information from the other side. This is also known as the discovery period.
Deposition Preparation: Despite what you see on television, cases don’t immediately go to trial, and people aren’t immediately thrown on the witness stand. One thing that happens prior to that is the deposition. This is when both sides ask questions of plaintiffs, defendants and other key or relevant witnesses. These questions take place under oath and carry just as much legal weight as the testimony that you give in the courtroom. We prepare our clients thoroughly for their depositions, and we also have a deposition or depositions of our own in which we question defendants and key witnesses.
Medical Examinations: To help us state our case, we often use the testimony of the doctor that treated your injury, and we bolster that testimony with the help of medical experts. But you can be sure that the insurance companies have medical experts of their own, so preparation for their examination of you is very important.
Producing Paperwork: Backing up your claim involves producing pertinent data. That means the other side is going to want to see medical records, medical bills, tax forms, and just about anything they can think of.
More Experts: To help support our claim, we often work with medical experts, vocational experts, economists and experts in rehabilitative therapy. They examine you and your case and offer invaluable criticism and advice.
Trial Preparation: There is a lot of work that has to be done before the trial starts. The right paperwork has to be filed, including witness lists and statements of trial readiness. There are also the inevitable insurance company delays that have to be fought through. We also have to prepare every witness and expert that we have testifying on your behalf. We also have to prepare evidence (accident reports, photographs, etc) for admission. We also have to go over the evidence that the other side wants to admit, which can be tricky. The other side might want to mention an injury that you suffered a long time ago, or something else that can be exploited. If we don’t like the sound of that we have to file motions that will keep this evidence from being admitted. We also have to prepare to question the defendant’s witnesses and experts. On occasion we will run a “mock trial,” which we can use to prepare ourselves for any contingency.
The Trial: The importance of this can’t be understated. We will be stating your case before a judge and jury over the course of several days.
Post Trial: There is still work to be done even if the verdict goes your way. If the verdict doesn’t go your way, we have to consider whether or not to file an appeal. If they verdict does go your way, we will probably have to deal with the appeal of the other side. If there is no appeal, we will have to work out payments, negotiate medical bills, and deal with the claims of your insurance companies who paid for your treatment.
Any personal injury attorney worth his or her salt should make it a point to keep you in the loop as to what is happening over the course of your trial. As attorneys who represent injury victims, we know how important your case is, and we know that not giving you any information about your trial simply compounds your feelings of worry and frustration. We make it a point to tell you exactly what is happening, and we do so in plain English. We save the legal jargon for the courtroom.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident in the DC area, contact Lewis and Tompkins for a free legal consultation today.