After suffering an injury that you believe was caused by someone’s neglect or intent, you may want to file an insurance claim to cover treatment costs, along with pain and suffering compensation. However, you will need to prove that the other person is responsible before you can collect damages. Here are four things to keep in mind when filing a personal injury claim.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
Legal counsel is very important when filing a claim of this type. An experienced lawyer can explain the process as well as any statutes that need to be met. If you decide to hire a personal injury attorney, that person will become your legal advocate. They will help to file a claim and prepare for proceedings. Some of these include: discovery of all relevant facts and documents, depositions, hearings, and eventually, trial, if the case goes that far.
Keep Copies of All Receipts
Track the bills you pay for anything related to the injury. This may include doctor bills, ambulance costs, lost job wages, physical therapy, medication, and similar expenses. Keep clear receipts with the date of service, amount paid, and an explanation. These will be needed to calculate costs associated with the injury, if the defendant’s negligence is prove or a settlement is reached.
Make Note of Related Issues
If you stop exercising because of the injury, if your social life is hampered, or if your family is impacted by your condition, keep a journal or diary along with dates and brief descriptions of events or observations. Becoming depressed or withdrawing from loved ones may be signs of depression or sadness associated with the injuries you have sustained. An attorney can advise you on which of these situations may be relevant to the personal injury claim you are preparing.
Attend All Legal Proceedings
As directed by your attorney, keep up with office visits and court proceedings to remain an active plaintiff. Failure to appear at scheduled hearings, especially without notice, can be interpreted by the defendant’s counsel that your injuries are not as serious as originally claimed or that you do not take the legal process seriously. If you must be absent, have your attorney reschedule at a convenient time.
Whether your personal injury claim is mild or major, following steps like those above can help to strengthen your case. A well-supported claim usually ends up with a more substantial award than one that is weak.
Author Info: Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @RachelleWilber.