Let’s say that you suffered an injury in an accident because of someone else’s negligence. The accident left its toll on you emotionally and physically. Maybe you have never filed a personal injury claim before. Let’s have a look at the steps to take for filing a claim to get the settlement that you rightfully deserve. Below, in this article, you can get the information about steps to take to file a personal injury claim
Some of the things included in personal injury lawsuits include:
- Car accidents
- Boating accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Dog bites
- Spinal cord injury
- Wrongful death
Step #1: Get a Medical Examination
You first need to have a medical examination done. Do this immediately after the accident took place because this will prove the evidence from your case. People have made the mistake of assuming that if they didn’t feel any symptoms, they don’t need a checkup. Don’t make this mistake. A failure to get an examination right away can hurt your personal injury claim. You could find yourself in pain one year later, but because you never had a checkup, you have no medical documentation that could assist your case. Many times, the other lawyers could attribute your current state to something else. It may not be ethical, but they do it all the time. Get a medical examination right away.
Step #2: Contact an Experienced Attorney
A personal injury claim requires the careful guidance of an experienced attorney who understands how to proceed with the case. The lawyer will help you to recover the entire cost of the medical treatment. You don’t want to try to recover this yourself because if the opposing party hired a lawyer, which they most likely did, they will dance legal circles around you. Not to mention, a claim comes with its share of complications, and it requires the expert attention of a legal professional.
Step #3: Set up the Claim
You want a lawyer to do this because there have even been cases where everyday people filed a lawsuit against the wrong person. Your attorney will file the claim to inform the individual and his insurance company that he plans to file a claim against them. In many cases, the other party will leap into action and work to settle the claim upfront, rather than let it go through the court system.
Step #4: Collect Information and Get Treated
In the coming steps, you will want to continue to follow-up with treatment and collect as much information and documentation about your case as possible. Collect the medical records, invoices from the doctor, learn of the required treatment, the full extent of the injuries and the estimates of the damage to personal property and lost wages.
Step #5: Negotiate a Settlement
The attorney will either make the demand to the person responsible for the accident, or they could make a demand to the insurance company. In most cases, it will be the insurance company. Both sides will argue over what the case will be worth, but neither side knows exactly what the other party thinks. The legal process to get a settlement involves a lot of back and forth before they reach a final agreement.
Settlement vs. Court System
Provided a compromise gets reached and both parties agree to it, they call it a settlement. In cases where neither side can agree to a settlement, court system will continue the process. This usually costs money, which is why they first try to settle the case out of court. Many personal injury cases get settled without the need for legal intervention.
Step #6: Filing a Lawsuit
When the personal injury case goes to trial, that is when it becomes a lawsuit. If the lawyer couldn’t get a settlement out of the case, they will resort to a lawsuit. Let’s have a look at the process of the trial because of how this understanding will help you to get the most from it.
The process will first start where they will file a complaint for the damages. The lawsuit is a written document that outlines the claim and looks at how much you seek to gain in recompense. After this happens, the litigation period will begin. They exchange the information in between the parties, and you will often be required to give a deposition. This means that you testify under oath.
When the case goes to trial, the lawyer will have gathered evidence to present to the courts. The judge weighs the facts and decides on the most credible evidence. Should you win your case in the courts, the judge will be the one to decide how much compensation you receive.
The more serious cases of personal injury will require a lawyer because of how this process can get tricky. Not to mention, the lawyer can assist you with filing the claim. In other words, they will do the bulk of the lifting. For a more serious accident, having a good lawyer on hand can either make or break your case. In the vast majority of cases, insurance companies won’t pay a settlement willingly unless they know that they’re paying you less than what you deserve. That is one of the reasons that you need to have a personal injury lawyer. They can tell you exactly what your case is worth, and they can make sure that you don’t settle for less than you deserve.