Alaska has more that 2,300 attorneys currently admitted to practice. They have all gone to law school and passed the bar exam. So how do you select the personal injury attorney Alaska that will afford you the best chance to receive the amount of money you deserve as a result of the injuries you sustained due to someone else’s negligence.
It is important to move quickly to find a lawyer soon after you are injured. Indeed, as you only have two years from the date of your incident to file your lawsuit, delaying in finding an attorney can cause great prejudice. Indeed, a personal injury attorney alaska will start working immediately in obtaining the information and evidence required to properly file a complaint, the document that must be filed to actually start your lawsuit. This will require medical records, accident reports, photographs, witness statements, police reports, and more.
Then, once the defendant receives—and answers—the complaint, the parties enter into the discovery process, where information is exchanged. Usually starting with the written discovery demands, a qualified personal injury attorney alaska will know how to answer the requests and provide documents and materials that posture your case in the most positive way without being dishonest and continuing to follow the rules.
Toward the end of the discovery phase, the parties will likely sit for depositions, where each attorney asks the other party a series of questions in an effort to (i) obtain as much information as possible and (ii) set up the other party for negative testimony at trial. Because of the latter, an experienced attorney is important to be able to protect his client from the “tricks of the trade” the adversarial attorney is likely to attempt to employ.
Often after depositions, or earlier, the parties will attempt to negotiate a settlement of the case in order to avoid the risks of trial. Although settlement usually disappoints both parties to a point, it is typically a better result than risking an expensive and time-consuming trial which is always leaving the result up to chance.
If settlement is not achieved, trial will occur. Here, with very strict rules as to how questions may be asked and what may be said in front of a jury, the attorneys will present opening statements, question the parties, question witnesses and expert witnesses and give closing statements. The goal for the plaintiff is to show that the defendant was negligent and, as a result of the negligence, the plaintiff suffered injuries that warrant the payment of compensation. The goal for the defendant is to show that the defendant did not act negligently and, even if it did, that the plaintiff did not suffer any compensable damages.
This is a basic primer of how the personal injury legal process works. There is a lot more to know, which is why it is so important to contact an attorney as soon as you realize there may be a lawsuit.