When contemplating engaging the services of an experienced Vancouver personal injury attorney, you need to have a basic understanding of the three primary stages of a personal injury case. These are: investigation, negotiation and litigation. As a general rule, these stages are not discrete and, in fact, overlap one another. For example, even though a personal injury case starts with the investigation stage, it will continue through the negotiation and even into the litigation phases.


The first stage of a personal injury case involves a thorough investigation of the facts and circumstances surrounding the injury and claim itself. This type of due diligence is mandatory before a claim appropriately can be pursued, let alone the filing of a lawsuit. Through the investigatory process, a decision can be made as to whether or not sufficient evidence exists to support pursuing a claim and even a lawsuit for damages and injuries. The investigation process really never ends as long as a claim is pending or a lawsuit is pursued. For example, depositions (oral testimony under oath outside of the courtroom) oftentimes are taken after a lawsuit is filed.


Negotiation initially involves an attempt to settle a claim with the negligent third party directly or with the negligent third party’s insurance company (if insurance is in place). There are instances in which a claim for damages and injuries arising out of the negligence of a third party are settled without the need of filing an actual lawsuit.


The litigation stage of a personal injury case formally commences when a Vancouver personal injury attorney files a lawsuit against the party responsible for the injury. Despite the filing of a lawsuit and the commencement of litigation, the negotiation process carries onward. The reality is that most personal injury cases, even those in which litigation commences, do not end up in a court trial. Many of these cases are settled through post-lawsuit commencement negotiation.

Contact a Vancouver Personal Injury Lawyer

If you or a family member have been injured because of someone else’s negligence, contact the personal injury law firm of Etengoff Pak Law Group at (360) 693-2919.