How To File Personal Injury Claim
Most personal injury cases will be based on negligence or failure to use reasonable care in a situation where another party could potentially be harmed.
An unfortunate accident or injury can result in numerous medical bills, lost wages and other life-altering changes. The path to receiving fair compensation for damages can be quite difficult. Thankfully, we’re here to offer a step-by-step guide to file a personal injury claim.
How To File A Personal Injury Claim
Of course, all personal injury cases are unique. The timeline can vary based on the victim’s injuries, case complexity and the cooperation of the defendant. Use these steps below to properly go through the personal injury claim process.
Step 1. Receive Medical Care
Immediately following any sort of accident or injury, an individual should seek medical treatment. This could involve a visit to your primary doctor and/or a trip to the emergency room. While many conditions do not appear in the immediate aftermath, the worst symptoms may be prevented thanks to an early examination. Early medical records can serve as evidence with an insurance adjuster and jury if a lawsuit becomes necessary in the future.
Step 2. Gather Documentation
After proper medical care has been received by the patient, potential claimants should always consider documenting all injuries, damages and medical treatments related to the accident or injury. It can be extremely helpful to gather evidence surrounding the accident/injury’s cause, as well as how the incident has impacted the victim’s life. It’s crucial to collect and prepare all medical visits, medical bills and lost wages.
Step 3. Consider A Legal Consultation
Oftentimes, small personal injury claims can be settled with legal representation, but lawyers tend to produce larger awards for claimants who would otherwise try to settle the claim on their own. Since many personal injury lawyers offer free initial consultations, it is advantageous for claimants to at least discuss their case with a lawyer before filing a claim.
Step 4. Investigate Accident And Injuries
Once a lawyer is hired, he or she will begin by interviewing the claimant to learn more specifics regarding the accident, injuries and medical treatments. Attorneys then request medical treatment records. Attorneys may also decide to work with accident reconstruction specialists or related experts to make their client’s case stronger.
Step 5. Establish Negligence
Most personal injury cases will be based on negligence or failure to use reasonable care in a situation where another party could potentially be harmed. For instance, a driver could be deemed negligent if they were driving under the influence. Attorneys will argue the negligent driver would not have hit the claimant if not for the influence of alcohol or other substance. Experienced personal injury attorneys can prove negligence much easier than an individual wishing to settle the claim on their own.
Step 6. Serve The Notice Of Claim
When someone decides to pursue a personal injury case, he or she will need to inform all parties involved regarding the intent to file suit. This step, also known as service of process, will most often be delivered personally by a professional process server, law enforcement officer or court official.
Step 7. Start Settlement Talks
Before the case goes to court, it’s possible the claimant’s lawyer makes a demand to either the defendant’s attorney or insurance company. When this occurs, attorneys will attempt to negotiate a settlement that both parties find acceptable. Most claims will be settled at this time.
Step 8. File The Lawsuit
Litigation will begin when the plaintiff and his or her lawyers file the lawsuit in court. This initiates the discovery phase, where each party completes an investigation into the other’s claims and defenses. Both sides must respond to all requests for information as truthfully and thoroughly as possible. Discovery phases require lots of documentation and can sometimes last up to a year.
Step 9. Attempt Mediation
Lawyers will have another attempt to settle the case before the discovery phase concludes. Mediation involves a meeting between both parties and a neutral, third party. The mediator is there to help the plaintiff and defendant resolve the case in a manner that satisfies all parties. The case will inevitably advance to trial if mediation is unsuccessful.
Source: “Step-By-Step Guide For Filing A Personal Injury Claim” Nicolet Law https://nicoletlaw.com/blog/step-by-step-guide-for-filing-a-personal-injury-claim/
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