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West Virginia Personal Injury Trial Checklist

West Virginia personal injury lawyer talks about WV Personal Injury Trial ChecklistPersonal injury claims in West Virginia are usually settled prior to trial.  However, in my experience as an attorney who specializes in accident and injury law, insurance companies often don’t fairly settle claims until after a lawsuit is filed.  In fact, insurance companies often don’t selttle West Virginia personal injury claims until weeks or days before the trial date.  This is often due to the fact that defendants want to test the plaintiff attorney to see if he is really prepared to go to trial.

A lawyer not experienced in personal injury law may not adequately prepare for trial, and defense counsel can often figure this out in the days and weeks leading up to the trial. Therefore, a skilled and experienced personal injury attorney prosecutes and prepares his or her clients’ claims as if a jury trial is certain.  Below is one of the checklists that we use at West Law Offices to make sure that we are adequately prepared for trial in the event that a trial is necessary.  It also makes it more likely that we will obtain a fair settlement for our clients prior to trial.

OBTAIN BASIC INFORMATION

  • Initial interview with client – complete as much of Case Intake Form as possible
  • Send Engagement letter with Contract and Releases for medical and employment information
  • Complete Client Intake Form
  • Obtain copies of any statements given by client
  • Obtain police or other official reports of occurrence or previous inspections
  • Obtain weather report (if weather is a factor)
  • Obtain instruction manuals (if product involved)
  • Inspect and diagram scene of accident
  • Obtain reports of prior hearings
  • Verify corporation name and registered agent, if corporation involved
  • Obtain insurance coverage of client and amount of coverage

ACCIDENT WITNESS INTERVIEWS

  • Interview investigating officer (obtain photos and field notes, subpoena if necessary)
  • Consult with expert
  • Interview other witnesses (including those listed on Motor Vehicle Crash Report)
  • Canvas homes and businesses surrounding accident scene for additional witnesses
  • Post-investigatory interview with client

PHOTOGRAPHS

  • Vehicles or products involved (including those taken by investigating officer)
  • Scene of occurrence
  • Photos of injuries and treatment
  • Photos of repairs and property damage
  • Other photos

DAMAGES

  • Obtain hospital records
  • Physician’s and other medical care providers’ records
  • Obtain and verify loss of time and income (tax returns & pay stubs)
  • Secure copies of all medical bills
  • List all expenses and special damages
  • Secure copies of all property repair estimates and any final bills regarding damages
  • Obtain amount of subrogation interests

PHYSICAL EXHIBITS AND WITNESSES

  • Secure all physical evidence for exhibits
  • Secure all correspondence by parties to other parties
  • Secure all of client’s internal memos of occurrence
  • Prepare charts and demonstrative exhibits
  • Prepare witness sheet for each witness

RULES OF THE ROAD

  • Identify applicable principles and rules Defendant violated and annotate with cases, statutes, and other authorities
  • Draft jury instructions mirroring rules

PRE-TRIAL LEGAL MATTERS

  • Draft, file, serve Complaint
  • Answer served
  • Third party complaint served
  • Counterclaims, cross-claims and reply (if necessary)
  • Our interrogatories sent out to adverse parties
  • Further (if needed) interrogatories sent
  • Documents and things inspected
  • Depositions taken of:   Other parties; Our client; Their experts; Our experts; Accident and damages’ witnesses
  • Fact Witness Disclosures – Due:
  • Expert Witness Disclosure – Due:
  • Mediation Completed – Due:
  • Requests for admissions served
  • Motions disposed of
  • Motion for summary judgment
  • Legal research completed
  • Supplement interrogatory answers as/if needed

FINAL PREPARATION FOR TRIAL

  • List exhibits expected for each party
  • Check pleadings for amendments needed
  • Again check answers to interrogatories for supplements
  • Submit jury instructions and special verdict form to judge on________________
  • Prepare Trial Notebook
  • Questions prepared for each witness
  • Our witnesses alerted
  • Prepare subpoena for witnesses where needed
  • Prepare motions in limine
  • Conferences with witnesses
  • Jury list obtained and checked
  • Voir dire questions prepared

SETTLEMENT SUMMARY

Our client has authorized_________________________________

We offered____________________________________________

They offered__________________________________________

If you have any questions about the above personal injury trial checklist or about your accident or injury, feel free to call an attorney at West Law Offices for a free consultation.

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Testimonials

West Law Firm has great lawyers. They helped me in my case and every time I needed to call or talk to someone they were willing to talk and help me in anyway. David is the absolute best. His communication was unbelievable throughout the entire process as well as his worth ethic. He took great care of me I would highly recommend him for any auto related injury. He continually fought for me and got me the settlement I deserved!
Lance Bork
I've worked with other attorneys in the past, but West Law Firm has gone over and above my expectations! I was expecting the same old runaround about when somebody could get to my case. They kept me up-to-date about everything. They really worked for me and I would highly recommend them.
Donna Wright
I have nothing but praises for West Law firm. They took my case and worked very hard for me. They went out of there way to help me. If I had a question they were quick to respond. I truly felt that they were working for me. I wasn’t just another payday for them. David and Paula were absolutely the best.
Leslie Snoots
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Charleston, WV 25311

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