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You meet with your lawyer to see if you have a valid case. He asks you hundreds of questions about what happened and delves into your personal life and your family's life. He then says, "Let me worry about the legal issues. I'll let you know when you have to come back for a deposition..." If this sounds familiar, it should because it's the right way to handle an injury case in New York. 1. Your lawyer first has to determine if you have a valid case. To do that he has to investigate everything about your claim and about you as well. That takes time. He has to obtain your medical records, obtain any accident reports, and find out what medical treatment you've had and what treatment you'll need in the future. He needs to know what you were earning and evaluate your lost earnings and your lost future earning capacity. Do you need rehabilitation? Will you need vocational training since you will be unable to perform the type of work you were doing? Experts need to be hired to evaluate your case and review your records. This all takes time. So, why does it feel as if your lawyer isn't doing anything and your case keeps going on and on? Maybe you're not getting any updates about what's happening. This leads me to the next reason your lawsuit never seems to end. 2. Once the investigation is complete and it turns out you have a valid case, your lawsuit will START. This means that your lawyer will prepare papers to start your case, file them with the Court, and have them served on the people you are suing. All of these things are done by your lawyer without your involvement. (With the exception of you reading and signing the papers that start the lawsuit.) Your lawyer does this all the time, and it should be routine for his staff as well. Sometimes the lawyer forgets that the client needs to be kept informed about each step in the litigation process. Being informed keeps you, the client, in the loop about what is actually happening. 3. After the lawsuit starts, why does it still seem like nothings happening? Somethings happening, but it doesn't directly involve you. Once the lawsuit papers are given to the people you are suing, they have to send those papers to their insurance company so they can open a file and hire an attorney to represent you. Once a lawyer is assigned to handle their case, their lawyer will prepare papers to answer your lawsuit. This is known as an 'answer' to the complaint you've served. Only after the answers are received can your lawyer notify the Court that 'issue is joined'- which means that all the parties to the lawsuit are now involved, and can we please set up a scheduling conference with the Court.

4. Why does it take so long for the lawyers to answer the complaint, and the Court to set up a conference? Typically, the person who is served has 20 days in which to serve a response to the complaint you have made. Sometimes, it is difficult to actually serve the person or company whom you are suing because they may have moved and are no longer at the address that they used to be. When that happens, your lawyer's assistant (known as a process server) has to track down that person or company in order to properly serve them with the legal papers. If this is unsuccessful, then it will be difficult, if not impossible to start the lawsuit against those people who caused you harm. This step is crucial in order to proceed with your case. If the person you're suing is properly served with legal papers, their attorney may sometimes ask for additional time to answer your papers since they'd like time to learn the facts from their client before submitting their answer. This is known as 'requesting an extension of time to answer the complaint' and is a courtesy most attorneys will grant. Once your lawyer receives the answer to your complaint, and requests a conference with the Court, he no longer has any control about when the conference will be held- that's entirely up to the Court to determine. With many cases to deal with, Courts can be backlogged many weeks or months. 5. When we get a scheduling conference, why does it still seem as if things are moving slowly? There is an unfortunate saying that "The wheels of justice turn slowly." Once a conference is scheduled your attorney will know when you will need to be deposed- which is a question and answer session at your lawyer's office. It will likely be months later that you will have your deposition. The lawyer for the other side needs time to obtain your medical records, and do any other investigation needed before he questions you at your lawyer's office. Your lawyer will be present together with the other side's lawyer(s) and a court reporter. This will be the second time you will be in your lawyer's office, and it will feel as if your case is moving right along- since you are directly involved in the proceedings. Once your deposition is completed, you may again have that sense that your case has crawled to a standstill- but you shouldn't feel that way. Your case is moving in the right direction. 6. Why is it taking so long for other depositions to be completed? Sometimes, the attorneys have scheduling conflicts that prevent scheduled depositions from going forward. Sometimes one lawyer is on trial on another matter and cannot attend a particular deposition. Other times the witness who is scheduled to be questioned may not be available and their deposition needs to be re-scheduled. Attorneys frequently acknowledge this possibility and give courtesies to their adversaries when possible. Sometimes it is simply not possible and arguments arise between the attorneys and the Court is needed to intervene. Sometimes the delay may be intentional and the Court's assistance is required to resolve the issue. 7. When there are many people to question, there may be many weeks or months between

depositions. During this time, it may seem as if nothing is happening with your case. Call your lawyer to find out why there's a delay and what is he doing about it. Become informed and try to stay in the loop. Keeping informed about the details of your case will make you more comfortable that it's proceeding the way it should, and will inspire more confidence in your attorney that if you don't hear from him for months. SUMMARY A lawsuit is not a race. It's an investigation and prosecution of an important case that must be assembled and cared for one fact at a time. Keep in touch with your lawyer and ask questions. This way you'll know that your case is moving forward and has not fallen between the cracks. Importantly, you'll understand why your case is moving at the pace it has and what you can expect in the future.

Gerry Oginski is an experienced New York medical malpractice and personal injury trial attorney and practices exclusively in the State of New York. He has tirelessly represented injured victims in all types of medical malpractice and injury cases in the last 19 years. As a solo practitioner he is able to devote 100% of his time to each individual client. A client is never a file number in his office. Take a look at Gerry's website and read his free special reports on malpractice and accident law. Read actual testimony of real doctors in medical malpractice cases. Learn answers to your legal questions. We have over 200 FAQs to the most interesting legal questions. Read about his success stories. Read the latest injury and malpractice news. I guarantee there's something for you. 516-487-8207 Also, take a look at Gerry's FREE NY Medical Malpractice video tutorials at

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==== ==== Free Templates on how to Answer Lawsuit ==== ====

7 Reasons Your Lawsuit Never Ends  

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