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Filing a Personal Injury Claim Step-by-Step
After getting injured, it’s hard to think about anything else. The pain and suffering, the medical bills, and the injustice of it all make the initial injury so much worse. If you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be eligible to seek compensation. Here is a guide to filing a personal injury claim step-by-step that you can follow after an accident to get the settlement you need.
Seek Medical Help
Immediately after your accident, it’s vital that you seek medical care before doing anything else. Even if your situation doesn’t seem too dire, not seeking care can result in long-lasting health problems. Rule out any unseen injuries and take care of your immediate medical needs first and foremost. Doing so will make sure you’re healthy now and prepared to file a personal injury case later.
Consider Hiring an Attorney
The sooner you think about hiring a personal injury attorney, the better. In some cases, like slip and fall accidents or car wrecks, your attorney may be able to arrive on the scene where your personal injuries took place and gather evidence for you.
However, you may not want to hire an attorney in some cases. If your accident and injuries were minor or your insurance settlement is sufficient for your lost wages and other losses, you likely won’t need an attorney at all. However, it’s rare that both of those things are true. Most of the time, you can get a higher settlement by hiring an attorney, not to mention the benefit of having an expert handle the paperwork and settlement negotiations associated with your case.
Evaluate the Settlement Offer
Once you’re injured, you will make personal injury claims with your insurance or the insurance of the other party, if the defendant is liable. Although each type of personal injury case is different, you will likely also need to make a list of demands based on the damages associated with the accident.
The insurance company will respond to the claim with a settlement offer based on your injury and other damages. If this settlement is enough to cover the cost of your injury, you can accept the settlement and be done. However, this is rare.
If you’re not pleased with the settlement, you will need to negotiate directly with the insurance company. Attorneys are particularly useful in negotiations. They know the usual settlement amounts for your type of injury and know how to talk effectively with insurance representatives.
Continue with a Lawsuit
Most cases settle without filing a personal injury lawsuit. However, if you can’t reach an agreement with the other party, you can file a lawsuit against them to seek justice in front of a judge or jury. This lawsuit will likely start with a discovery phase, where each side performs a case review based on medical records and other documents requested.
Take into account that not all lawyers will go through the personal injury lawsuit process. Hire a lawyer that will represent clients in a lawsuit, even if you don’t think your case will end up in court.
In the end, the process of a personal injury case is mostly straightforward but can get complicated quickly if you are seriously injured and aren’t being awarded the settlement you deserve. The best way to counteract this is by calling one of the law firms like Wettermark Keith. Our team of compassionate, hard-working lawyers has the experience that your case needs.