Preparation is Key

GavelInvestigation Blog No. 1

The key to a successful outcome at trial is preparation. At Oliver Law Firm, we invest time, finances, and other resources to make sure we achieve the best results possible for our clients. When you hire us, you don’t just hire one attorney – you hire our entire team of legal professionals. Every member of our staff becomes a part of your legal team.

There is quite bit of work that goes into preparing our cases. Following is basically the step-by-step process we use when we take on an 18-wheeler accident case.

  • It all begins with the client interview. Our goal is to harvest as much information from a potential client as possible. We want to know how the incident occurred, injuries involved, weather and road conditions at the time of the incident, and any other helpful information. Because we only get paid when we win a case, we must be selective in the cases we accept. This information helps us to make that determination.
  • Once we have decided to accept the case, the client give us permission through HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) to have access to all medical records – before and after the incident. Additionally, we seek an accounting of medical expenses incurred by our client.Concurrently, our team is collecting police dash-cam video, audio recordings, and any scene photographs. This provides compelling physical evidence.
  • But we also want to see the vehicles involved for ourselves. So, we will track those vehicles and take our own set of pictures to show damage. We’ll also look inside the vehicles for evidence that might indicate what may have contributed to the incident whether that be alcohol containers or drug paraphernalia.
  • A new investigative tool that we use is Google Earth Maps, which will shows us the curves in the road and the surrounding terrain. If necessary, we will also gather state highway maps that indicate slope.
  • Witness interviews are a key component to case preparation. Those interviews are conducted on video. If there are no witnesses, we’ll interview investigating officers and look for people who live near the accident scene to see what they saw or heard.
  • While all of this work is taking place, Oliver Law Firm will send a “Letter of Representation” to any insurance company involved so that the client will not be directly contacted.
  • Based on everything that we gather – client interviews, medical records, scene footage and recordings, actual damage, mapping, and witness interviews – we will conduct the first focus group to see what they think about our case.

In our next blog, we’ll talk about the value of the focus groups and the next steps we take as we prepare to go to trial.