Being hurt by another person’s careless actions can devastate your life and the lives of those you love.
A car accident, slip, fall or medical error can result in serious physical injury. These injuries can affect your ability to perform daily activities and cost you time off work. They may even affect your ability to find a job in the future. Rehab can also harm your mental health. You may have to rely on your family for your recovery.
All of these factors may require you to file a personal injury claim in hopes of receiving a fair amount for your injuries. However, filing a lawsuit and winning it are two separate things. First, you need to understand the process to receive the compensation you deserve. Are you planning to submit a file but you don’t know how? Here are some things you should know about the personal injury claims process:
First, you need to know who is responsible for your injuries. Did they breach a duty of care that caused the accident? Maybe a speeding ticket hit you while crossing the street. Or did a healthcare professional make a mistake regarding your medication? Maybe a restaurant staff forgot to clean the wet floor causing you to slip and fall? Here are some examples of negligent actions leading to a personal injury claim.
Sometimes your case may even involve unique circumstances where determining fault may be difficult, such as a multi-vehicle accent or a work-related incident involving machinery. These and other similar circumstances require a legal expert such as Boland Romaine LLP to identify who is responsible for your injuries.
Gather enough evidence
Establishing negligence is only the first step, because later you will need strong evidence to back up your claim. In personal injury claims, the burden of proof is on the injured party.
You must show the adjusters and the court the extent of your physical and emotional injuries. Make sure you have copies of your medical reports, police reports and expert witnesses. They can attest to your suffering and provide strong evidence against the other party.
Consult a legal expert
Hiring a personal injury lawyer is also something you need to consider. When choosing a lawyer, you will need to check their references. They must be from a reputable law firm with a track record of filing and winning personal injury claims.
During an initial consultation, your lawyer will assess your claim and determine what type of personal injury is best suited to your case. They will also advise you on what to do next and how you can develop a defense to your claim. Additionally, they may also have access to additional evidence, such as CCTV footage, government records, etc., which will help build your case.
File within the statute of limitations
It would be best if you also keep in mind that you must file the case within the time limit set by your state. Also known as the statute of limitations, this law allows you to file your claim within one to six years from the date of injury.
If your illness or injury does not manifest itself within the prescribed filing time, your attorney may use the “finding of harm rule” as the basis of your claim.
The negotiation process
The negotiation process will likely take the longest of your personal injury claim. During this time, your chosen attorney and the opposing insurance attorneys will attempt to settle before he reaches the courtroom.
If you decide to settle, you will receive compensation as agreed by both parties. However, if you choose to pursue the case, you must prepare for several hearings until the judge or jury decides.
Communication with your lawyer
Staying in touch with your attorney can make or break your case. You need regular communication with your lawyer so that he can keep you up to date with the progress of the case. While it’s understandable that you’re still recovering, you should still be in touch by phone, email, video call, or other means.
Attorney’s fees and other costs
Personal injury lawyers often work on an emergency basis, meaning you only pay them after you have reached a settlement or received a judge’s decision on your case. Although it may seem simple, different contingent fee arrangements give your lawyer between 25% and 40% of the total amount you receive.
On top of that, you also need to be prepared for additional expenses. You may have to pay court filing fees and pay experts who have testified on your behalf. In addition, you must also assume the payment of administrative costs such as postage and travel costs, as well as legal research.
If you or your loved one are injured through negligence, it’s best to file a personal injury claim as soon as possible. But before doing so, it is best to consult a qualified lawyer. They are in the best position to assess your claim and build your case so that you get the compensation you truly deserve.
Legal Scoops editor Jacob Maslow founded several online journals, including Daily Forex Report and Conservative Free Press.