Pre-Suit begins the moment a person decides to formally enforce or defend his or her legal rights. Usually this is when one hires an attorney. Pre-Suit is the time between hiring a lawyer and when a law suit is filed at the courthouse.
In the simplest terms; pre-suit is where much of the work is done to determine if a claim is viable and who is responsible. And it is where over 60% of all claims are settled. While it does not include the actual lawsuit, the pre-suit can take a significant amount of time, as you want to have all of your medical records and procedures in place to understand the extent of your injuries.
Once we agree to take your case, we first conduct an investigation to verify that there are reasonable grounds to believe that negligence was involved.
We gather your medical records, police reports and insurance information and begin the process of understanding the circumstances of the accident or injury. This might include examining the premises, talking with witnesses and looking at everything from visibility to training and safety practices.
At this point we may need to hire experts to review your records, or the area involved. We may hire someone to look at the lighting or training practices. All of this helps us to make the case of why the other party was at fault in causing your injury.
Who is The Right Party
It often takes time and research to obtain this information and understand who is at fault. Is there a parent company, a manufacturer, a distributor or sub-contractor who is involved who shares in the liability. We research this to carefully identify any or all parties.
Determining Your Damages
“Damages” is legalese for money that compensates an injured party in a personal injury case. We determine this by looking at your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and perhaps even a loss of future earnings. It is important to keep good records and keep your medical appointments.
Include Emotional Damage or Pain and Suffering
In many personal injury cases, you can recover compensation for emotional damages and pain and suffering associated with your injuries. It may be a mistake to only seek recovery for physical injuries. For example, we may seek compensation for all medical bills related to a car accident as well as accompanying constant pain from a severe hip injury. Pain is arguable, but you should always seek compensation for it.
Write the Demand Letter
The demand letter is where we let the defendant(s) attorneys know that we are seeking damages. Typically we would include a summary, background information, facts, claim for damages and the demand. The more information we have on the specifics of your claim, the more powerful the letter.
This is where we go back and forth with the other attorneys to get the best settlement offer possible. The other side will often make a low offer and we will have to work on your behalf to get the offer closer to our initial demand. We work with you to make sure that the settlement is acceptable to you. If the other party will not settle, or will not settle at the amount you desire, we may need to file a law suit and take the case to court.
This is the briefest of overviews of what happens and how we work for you to gain a settlement without having to go to court. While that sometimes happens, settling in pre-suit is less costly and more timely then a lawsuit.