You’re driving; eyes on the road, head in the game when suddenly, a car appears out of nowhere. The driver is busy texting on their phone and doesn’t pay heed to your constant honking. You hit the brakes with all your might but the collision is inevitable! Thankfully, you come out alive but the bruises on your body hurt. It is followed by emotional distress and a general loss of your previous quality of life. And not to forget those physical therapy bills and medication costs!
But why should you have to pay for everything when the accident was due to the negligence and carelessness of someone else? Thanks to personal injury lawsuits, you DON’T! You can file a personal injury claim to receive compensation from the driver responsible for the accident. The same goes for workplace injuries as well. Now, if you’ve never filed one before, it may seem like a complicated task. That’s why we’ve prepared this step-by-step guide to help you understand the process.
Step 1: Seeking Medical Help
The first thing you should do after being injured in an accident is to seek medical attention. Even if you don’t feel any pain or discomfort, get yourself examined because oftentimes, the symptoms aren’t immediate. Moreover, if you skip this step, the responsible party’s insurer may raise questions on the severity of your injuries. And this may come in the way of a successful claim for compensation.
Step 2: Get in Touch with Personal Injury Lawyers
Filing for personal injury compensation alone can be overwhelming and confusing. It’s always best to contact a personal injury lawyer for a seamless process. You may do it on your own if your injuries are minor and won’t take any more than one hospital visit. Nevertheless, talking to a professional lawyer will clear out any confusion or concerns regarding the legal procedures, such as the statute of limitations. Law Advice personal injury lawyers are one of such agencies that will help you recover your medical costs if your injuries are serious and the treatment is ongoing.
Step 3: Set Up the Claim
To set up a claim, you and your lawyer should inform the responsible party and their insurer about your plan. This is crucial because it may help you get your claim settled quickly.
Step 4: Gather Necessary Information
You should gather as much information as possible about your injuries and the damage caused by the other party. Meanwhile, continue getting yourself treated. You should keep a tab of your medical records and collect invoices from your doctor. Also, talk to your doctor about the severity of your injuries and the treatment required. You should also get an estimate for the damage caused to your vehicle or property and keep track of your lost wages.
Step 5: Negotiate Until a Settlement is Reached
Your personal injury lawyer can ask the responsible party and their insurance company to compensate for your loss before or after filing a claim. Now, of course, both you and the other party will likely have different opinions on the worth of your claim. There will be offers and counteroffers, a lot of back and forth until a settlement is reached and both parties agree on a certain amount. In case the negotiation isn’t successful, you can file a lawsuit and continue the case to trial.
Step 6: File a Lawsuit
Before you file a lawsuit to demand compensation, you must understand that there are certain legal limits regarding the amount of time you have to file your claim. That being said, many personal injury cases don’t have to go through a trial. However, if a settlement isn’t reached, filing a lawsuit may be your last resort.
The process involves:
- File a complaint about damages in written form, highlighting your claim and the compensation amount you’re seeking
- Exchange information with the other party during the litigation period. You may have to testify under oath regarding your injuries for later use
- When the case is in a trial, the jury will weigh the pieces of evidence in court and decide their credibility
- If you prevail, the judge or jury will decide your compensation amount
Claiming for personal injury compensation can be daunting. However, if you have an experienced lawyer by your side, the process can be smooth and hassle-free.