With everything else you may be dealing with after an accident, speaking to a lawyer and pursuing a personal injury claim may be the last thing on your mind. But if the accident was not your fault, you need to ensure you get all the support and compensation you are entitled to.
To help demystify the legal route to claiming compensation, in this article we are going to walk you through the process of how to file a personal injury claim.
What is a Personal Injury Claim?
If you have been injured and it was not your fault, you can pursue a legal claim against the person or entity responsible in order to obtain sufficient financial compensation. Your claim could be for your medical bills, loss of earnings, out of pocket expenses, the cost of any future medical treatment and care as well as any psychological distress you may have suffered. A personal injury claim can be taken through the civil court or settled out of court before any legal proceedings are filed by negotiating with the insurance companies of the other parties involved.
Appointing the right legal representative
The first step in the Personal Injury Claim process is to appoint the right lawyer to take on your case. You should seek out legal representation as soon as possible as it is unlikely your insurance company will get you the best compensation settlement. Personal injury lawyers will also work to get you the most appropriate post-accident care and medical treatment as well as advocate on your behalf.
Filing a personal injury claim lawsuit
Any personal injury lawsuit needs to be filed within a set timescale, known as the statute of limitations. This time limit differs from state to state, so it’s essential to seek legal advice as soon as possible after your accident. Once a personal injury claim is filed, you become the plaintiff and the person or body responsible for your injury are the defendants. Legal representatives for both sides will work to gather the facts through a process called ‘discovery’, during which they will exchange information and documents, written questions (interrogatories) and depositions (questions asked in person, under oath).
Settling out of court
After the discovery process, many cases get settled before going to trial. If you choose to settle your case, it means you agree to accept a financial amount in return for dropping your claim against the defendant. While your attorney can advise as to what is in your best interests, the final decision to settle out of court is yours.
A final court decision
Only a small number of Personal Injury Claims actually get through to a court trial. If your case is won at trial, the judge or jury will award you what is referred to as damages. The amount of damages awarded is intended to compensate you for your financial loss and suffering as a result of your injury. However, if you do not win at trial, you could be liable for the litigation costs.
The process of a Personal Injury Claim can be a long road, and you need to ensure you have the right legal representation at every stage. Choosing the right personal injury law specialist is essential and with an extensive next work of personal injury lawyers, 1800 Injured are on hand to help you find the very best attorney for your individual case. And, with the right legal representation on your side, you can confidently start your claim for the compensation you deserve.