THE PERSONAL INJURY CASE – WHY PERSONAL INJURY CASES TAKE SO LONG, PART II : “THE INTAKE”
Having determined that a case should be accepted into their office, attorneys will be eager to begin acting upon certain crucial matters as soon as possible. The most important of all these crucial matters are those that involve time limits. There are many “time limits” that, if overlooked, could doom a case virtually before it gets off the ground. Other time limits, if missed, might not doom the case completely but could amount to a financially costly error.
“Notices of Claim,” that must be timely filed in all cases involving governmental or quasi-governmental authorities or agencies, are a top priority. Failure to file a properly completed “Notice of Claim”, within the proper time limit, upon the proper agent, and in the proper office designated specifically for that purpose will, in most instances, doom the case . (See this BLOG’s ARCHIVE for more on “NOTICES OF CLAIM”). In motor vehicle accidents, claims for “No-Fault “ benefits must be timely filed as well as notices to “MVAIC”, the State established agency, that will be available to pay an injured vehicle occupant in the event other vehicle insurance is, for whatever reason, not available. Failure to file appropriate documents in the prescribed fashion is a failure that can only bring gloom and doom to both an attorney and his client. For this reason alone, the experience of the attorney you choose is an invaluable commodity!
The basis of an attorney’s relationship with a client is the “Retainer Agreement”.
This sets forth the rules governing the relationship between the attorney and the client. It should be written in simple language, so that every client should be able to understand it. The client should feel absolutely free to read it carefully and ask any questions that may come up. And a client should ask for a copy of the agreement, if one is not offered by the attorney, to take with them for later review. An attorney is also obligated to send a “Retainer Statement”, which sets forth the identity of the client, the nature of the fee arrangement, and how the client was referred to this particular attorney, to the Office of Court Administration, which is then filed and kept until an eventual “Closing Statement” is sent at the end of the case, describing how the case concluded.
The work immediately following intake does not stop there. Investigations necessary to the eventual success of a case often begin at once. Scenes of accidents examined and photographed, witnesses interviewed while the incident is still fresh, clients advised NOT TO SPEAK AT ALL WITH INSURANCE COMPANY AGENTS, hospital records ordered, and a myriad of other items, each specific to the needs of the individual case before the attorney, are tackled at this early stage. There will be plenty to do later on as the case develops to make it worthwhile to see these important preliminary steps are attended to now. At The Orlow Firm our New York City Personal Injury Attorneys can help you with your case. Call us today.