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Claims & Litigation Process

Claims & Litigation Process

Initial Consultation

As a prospective client, you will meet with Nolan Law Group’s attorneys and support staff to confidentially explain the situation your family faces as a result of an injury or a death. This explanation can be emotional and difficult but in this meeting, relevant facts about the circumstances of the accident give our attorneys the information they need to discuss the basis for a lawsuit and chances of a successful civil action in court. There is no need to make any decisions at this meeting as your family may need to discuss the options and decide what the best route is to achieve your goals. Nolan Law Group is retained by clients through a contingency fee-based, Attorney-Client Agreement. Under this arrangement, the attorneys’ fees are a set percentage of the gross recovery made in the case. The costs of the litigation are generally advanced on the client’s behalf by Nolan Law Group and are to be reimbursed by the client upon recovery and/or conclusion of the case. This approach allows for a client to fully pursue his or her case without having to pay any money until a recovery and/or final disposition is made.

Beginning The Relationship / Signing An Attorney-Client Agreement

When you decide to entrust Nolan Law Group to represent you in court, a formal contract is created and signed by both parties. This agreement sets forth what will be expected from both the firm and the client as we prepare a winning case for you in court, as well as detail fees and costs after settlement of a successful trial. We provide a toll-free number to make reaching us as easy as possible and we give the highest priority to being responsive to you throughout the litigation process.

Researching Case / Preparing To File

At minimum, one Nolan Law Group attorney will be assigned primary responsibility for your claim. The attorney manages all aspects of your lawsuit along with a team which may include our director of litigation, nurse practitioners, paralegal assistants and other professional staff. The team follows all formal investigations into the accident or incident, researches applicable case law, and carefully studies information handed over to the firm by you or any third-party. At this point, our attorneys may have secured, through the courts, components or evidence which may have contributed to the injury. The research phase is crucial and can take some time as we carefully analyze all of the relevant facts of your case. From the information gathered, we begin to understand who was at fault and, therefore, who or what entities will be named as defendants in your suit and held accountable to you and your family.

Complaint Is Filed

Nolan Law Group’s attorneys will meet to discuss your case and decide upon the best legal tactics to employ, such as the best venue or court in which to file your case and which parties should be named as defendants. After the strategy is decided, a complaint, or suit, is drafted by your attorney naming the parties who are at fault and the court is asked for a trial by jury. The complaint is carefully reviewed and then filed in the appropriate court of law. Where a suit is filed, whether federal or state court, is dictated both by law and understanding on our part about what venue would be the most advantageous forum.

Preparing For Trial / The Longest Phase Of Your Lawsuit

Preparing for trial entails collecting relevant documents, conducting interviews, engaging experts to support your claim and asking for sworn statements. This is called “discovery”. We obtain all the facts and information necessary to prove fault and our courtroom strategy emerges. As we piece the case together, we send an important message to defendants about their liability exposure. Nolan Law Group’s attorneys are known for their aggressive discovery which sets the tone from the onset that we intend to leave no stone unturned. This strategy can lead to earlier or higher settlement amounts. During discovery, we collect and assemble documents, such as medical records, insurance policies, employment information, company policies, contracts, safety manuals, internal memos and any other evidence which support your case. We require all defendants to answer interrogatories which are sets of questions that must be answered and returned along with a signed, sworn statement. Interrogatories are important as they may uncover facts not determined in the initial investigation and may identify individuals who have knowledge of the occurrence which may help your case. Your attorney will serve subpoenas which require individuals to give testimony or depositions under oath about their knowledge of the occurrence. There may be witnesses or other third-parties with relevant information that will help our position. Depositions are important when your case goes to trial as they allow us to impeach or discredit and remove a witness if he/she changes testimony in court. The experts we engage for your case will help us prepare for trial. Using their analysis of medical or accident reports, we can present a professional opinion of your situation. Those same experts may testify if your case goes to trial and they may provide insight to the jury. When the discovery phase ends, a date is set for trial and your attorneys begin to prepare for the courtroom. By this time, both sides have a good idea of the strength of the suit and it is possible that a settlement, mediation or arbitration may be considered.

Settlement / Mediation / Arbitration

Settlement: A large number of cases never goes to trial. Often the defendants recognize that they are likely to lose in court and, therefore, are willing to offer a fair settlement. Clear communication between you and your attorney is crucial at this point as a decision must be made as to whether to enter into settlement or negotiations or stand firm and demand your right to a trial by jury. Either way, this decision is ultimately yours, made with the counsel of your lawyer, and is based upon what we learned during the discovery phase regarding the ultimate strength of your case.

Mediation: Sometimes a judge will order, or both parties will agree, to have an unbiased, professional mediator explore the options of a settlement before proceeding to trial. The mediator’s job is to bring both sides together to resolve the case and he or she will hear arguments from both sides. The mediator will propose how the case should be settled, but it is important to note that the decision is not binding. If the issues cannot be resolved to the satisfaction of both sides, the case continues to move toward trial.

Arbitration: In arbitration, a third-party is chosen or appointed to hear and formally rule on the case. Both parties agree that it is “binding”, meaning the decision is final. While this is a less formal proceeding than a trial, each side may present evidence and testimony in order to prove its case to the arbitrator. In arbitration, there is no jury and there may be more than one arbitrator and a panel with one member who presides over the hearing.

Going To Trial

While many cases settle or are heard by an arbitrator or mediator, trial preparation remains ongoing and Nolan Law Group will be ready to present your winning case to a judge and jury. Our courtroom strategy is created over the time we researched your case and gathered relevant information and testimony during the discovery phase. To prepare for trial, your attorney and trial team will review the volumes of evidence gathered and piece together the map for winning in court. The attorneys prepare salient arguments, lines of questioning, consult with experts, determine which evidence to use and how best to present it to the jury. When your case proceeds to trial, Nolan Law Group’s attorneys are meticulously prepared. The case is presented to determine fault with detailed evidence, comprehensive facts and expert testimony. The amount of compensation is commensurate with the pain, suffering and loss endured by the client and and surviving family members.