Filing a personal injury claim might be a good way to get the financial compensation you need after an accident has left you hurt. However, if this is your first time filing a personal injury claim, the process can seem daunting. This guide is meant to provide you with a general overview of filing a claim for a personal injury.
Personal Injury Claim Filing Instructions
You may be eligible for financial compensation if someone else’s carelessness or crime has hurt you. The procedure of filing a claim for personal injury may seem overwhelming at first, but these next sections will walk you through it step by step.
Evaluating Your Argument
Examining the merits of your claim is the initial step in the personal injury claims process. Medical documents, police reports, and testimonies from eyewitnesses are just some of the sources of evidence you should compile regarding your incident. The total amount of your losses, such as those for medical care, lost pay, and emotional distress, must also be calculated.
Find a Lawyer
Even though you can file a claim for personal injuries on your own, you should probably get legal representation. An attorney who specializes in personal injury law can guide you through the legal process, help negotiate on your behalf, and be your fiercest ally in court. They can also assist you in valuing your claim and pursuing the money to which you are entitled.
Submit a Claim
After conducting your investigation and retaining legal counsel, the next step is to submit a claim. Your attorney will prepare the necessary paperwork, file it with the court, and notify the accused.
The involved parties will share relevant information and evidence throughout the discovery phase of the lawsuit. Examples of this are hospital records, witnesses’ comments, and specialists’ views. The plaintiff team may even identify other victims of the same negligence, similar to what the AC&S Asbestos Settlement Trust has done for those who suffered asbestos-related injuries in the workplace. Your attorney will be able to use this information to strengthen your case.
Talks, Negotiations, and Deals
After discovery is complete, the parties might discuss entering settlement talks. Your attorney will try to work out a settlement with the other party that covers all of your costs and losses. If the parties cannot settle the dispute, it may then be taken to trial.
If the case goes to trial, your lawyer will argue your case before a judge and jury. Even though a trial might take a long time and be complicated, your lawyer will be there for you the whole way through to defend your legal interests.
Avoiding Typical Pitfalls in Personal Injury Claims
It’s not easy to file a claim after suffering an accident, and any mistakes could have devastating results. It is possible to boost your chances of having your claim approved and receiving the compensation you are due by avoiding some common blunders.
Insufficient Time Before Filing a Claim
Too often, people wait too long after an accident to seek compensation for their injuries. There is a time limit on filing a claim governed by your state’s statute of limitations, and you may lose your right to claim damages if this timeframe expires.
Refusing to Seek Medical Attention
Another mistake that could hurt your claim is failing to get medical attention after an injury. If you’ve been injured and haven’t seen a doctor yet, that could hurt your personal injury case.
Failure to Maintain Records
Evidence preservation is especially important in personal injury cases. If you don’t preserve all evidence, you risk having it disappear, making it unusable in court. You can bolster your case by collecting evidence, including photos of the accident scene, comments from witnesses, and any other pertinent information.
Making a Statement on Record for the Insurance Provider
After an accident, insurance companies frequently request a recorded statement. Providing a recorded statement without legal representation is risky, and the insurance adjuster may use anything you say against you.
Not Hiring a Qualified Personal Injury Lawyer
Perhaps the biggest error you can make while pursuing a personal injury claim is failing to retain the services of an expert personal injury attorney. An attorney can help ensure that every action you take works in favor of winning the case.
How to Get a Reasonable Financial Award When Filing a Personal Injury Claim
Settlement negotiations for personal injury claims can be time-consuming. Most insurance companies will provide a settlement well below your actual losses. To avoid this, consider the following:
Know the Worth of Your Claim
Have an idea of your claim’s worth before sitting down with the insurance company. Damages from an injury can include time away from work, money spent on medical care, and more. If you know how much your claim is worth, you’ll be in a better position to negotiate a satisfactory settlement.
Maintain Accurate Files
A reasonable compensation can only be negotiated if you have accurate records of your medical bills, missed wages, and other damages. Document everything you spend on your injury, from first medical fees to lost wages.
Refuse the Lowest Offer
To quickly resolve a personal injury claim, insurance companies need to make reasonable settlement offers. Don’t spend too much time arguing the lowest bid. Instead, you could make a counteroffer at a higher price, one that better reflects the true worth of your claim.
Settlement negotiations can be time-consuming and frustrating. Negotiate with patience and tenacity. Don’t let anyone talk you into accepting anything less than what your claim is worth.
Filing a claim for personal injuries can be easier and clearer with proper information and assistance. Seek the counsel of an accomplished personal injury attorney, meticulously document your losses, and remain patient throughout the entire process.
Stephanie Caroline Snyder is a 27-year-old who graduated from The University of Florida in 2018. She majored in Communications with a minor in mass media. Currently, she is an Author and a Writer. She was born and raised in Panama City, Florida, where her family still lives.