Have you been injured in a car or truck accident and need compensation for your injuries or other long-term consequences? If so, first it's important to understand how the personal injury claim process works so you can be prepared and find success at each stage. To help you get started, here's a short guide to the 5 stages of the personal injury claim process.
1. Ensure Proper Medical Care
The first thing you need to focus on is getting proper medical treatment and care. Evaluating your injuries and what long-term effects you may experience starts with getting thorough medical examinations and treatment. Without knowing what to expect now and down the road, you'll have no idea what sort of damages to seek. Never avoid treatment, both for your health and any future claims.
2. Work With an Attorney
Once your immediate medical needs are cared for, you likely need help analyzing your injuries and the resulting economic damage to see if you may need compensation. The best way is to consult with a personal injury lawyer in your state. They understand what it may take to seek damages in a court system as well as what you may be able to expect in return.
3. Document Your Situation
You and your attorney will then put together the records of your medical and living situation for documentation and assessment. The attorney will talk with you about the accident, what injuries you sustained, mental health or trauma effects, effects on your family, and your long-term outlook.
In addition to interviewing you, they may need your help putting together medical records, police reports, insurance information, and bills. Moving forward, you'll need to keep these records as more come in. The attorney will use all this compiled information to determine how much to ask for in court.
4. Negotiate Payment
Once your legal team has an idea of what to ask for, they may recommend making a demand of the responsible party. This is usually the insurance carrier, although it may also be an individual if no insurance is in force. The responsible party will likely reject this demand and submit their own counter-offer. You would then evaluate this offer and respond.
This process of negotiation is designed to lead to a settlement that is agreed to out of court. Such a settlement is the most expedient method or resolution, but it may not yield sufficient damages.
5. Litigate the Case
Finally, if negotiations fail to result in an acceptable settlement, you may need to file a case with the court. This will take additional time, but if you have a strong case, it can result in a much more acceptable payment.
No matter what stage you're in after your accident, navigating this difficult time will be easier when you know how the claim process works. Have specific questions? Start by meeting with a personal injury lawyer in your area as soon as possible.Share
14 September 2020
Did you know that many personal injury and car accident cases do not even end up being heard in front of a judge or jury? That's because most defendants would rather settle out of court so that they do not have to go through the expense and annoyance of a lengthy court battle. Personal injury attorneys need to be prepared for this. In addition to being ready to defend their clients in court, they need to be skilled negotiators. As you can see, this is a job that requires many diverse skills! Learn more about those skills, and about personal injury attorneys in general, right here on this site.