Depending on the case and depending on the injuries, if the case can be resolved without litigation it is a matter of gathering all the physical evidence, the medical records and bills, lost wage documents and sitting down with you, the client to discuss valuation and authority to make a demand for settlement.
If the case does not resolve during the prelitigation process I then file a complaint for damages. Next, I have a summons issued and have the process server serve the defendant with a summons and complaint. Once the case has been served and the defendant has answered, I gather more information about the case to prepare for trial.
The information gathering phase of the case is called discovery, and it involves sending written demands for information to the defendant, take the depositions of witnesses and subpoena records. Once discovery is completed, and the expert witnesses have been retained and deposed the court usually tries to encourage the parties to settle because at this point we know the strengths and weaknesses of each side’s case.
If the case does not settle I take the case to trial. Most litigated cases last between 1 and 2 years.