The Basics of Filing a Personal Injury Claim

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If you have suffered personal injury due to the alleged fault or negligence of another person, you may be liable for compensation from the other party. The amount you receive – if you win the case – will largely be based on the detailed information you provide beforehand.

You may think that an insurance company does not provide enough compensation for what you have been through. Even after debating with them, you may find that they don’t want to budge. Instead of accepting their offer, you can contact a personal injury attorney and pursue loss recovery. People often recover up to three times more when they hire a lawyer to get better compensation.

Before filing a personal injury claim, there are some things you need to know.

You have a limited time to file

Each state has a statute of limitations, which means you have a limited time after an injury to file a claim. After this time, you will no longer be able to file your claim.

The limitation is different for various types of claims, such as bodily injury, debt, crime, or medical malpractice. The time limit for filing personal injury cases ranges from one (Kentucky, Louisiana, and Tennessee) to six years (North Dakota and Maine), but most states have a two-year limit.

Even if you think it’s too late to file a personal injury claim, you may want to seek legal advice. Many factors can cause the statute of limitations to “pause” in a personal injury case.

Legal advice

Most personal injury lawyers will not charge to hear your complaint. From the facts and information you provide, they will be able to determine if they think you have a winnable case. Lawyers in this field are usually only paid after they win, and the payment comes from the money won.

Be patient

Resolving a personal injury case takes time. There are several steps in the process, and each one can take months.

Even if you file a personal injury claim shortly after the incident, you should be aware that the settlement will not happen quickly. The legal process can take one or two years. At the earliest, this will not happen until your wounds are completely healed or healed as much as they will be. Filing too soon could mean that your lawyer could claim the wrong compensation amounts.

Once your personal injury attorney deems you have reached the point of maximum medical improvement (MMI), the case can proceed. Your lawyer cannot estimate the total amount of compensation you are owed until he has received all medical bills.

If a trial is needed, it may take a year or two to come to court. The trial date will be set after your attorney files a lawsuit for personal injury, and it will happen after negotiations have failed.

Provide details quickly

You may forget important details of the accident if you wait too long before contacting a lawyer. Shortly after the incident, you should write down all the details of the event that you remember. Add more details to your list as you remember and let your attorney know as well.

The lawyer will need as much evidence as possible before proceeding. Keep detailed records of things like phone calls to your insurance company, with names, dates, phone numbers, conversation summary details, and any medical receipts. Your lawyer will also need all medical records related to the accident.

Itemize your losses carefully

Your personal injury losses form the basis of your claim and determine the amount you can receive. Losses can be physical, mental or financial and can include disruption to your daily schedule. Financially, they may include your loss of income due to inability to work and medical expenses. Mentally, they can include emotional issues after the event and an inability to sleep. Pain should also be included. Your personal injury attorney can help you detail your losses.

Negligence must be established

Many personal injury cases center on the theme of negligence. If your case involves negligence, you will need to provide the attorney with reasons why you believe negligence on the part of the other person (or entity) is involved. Think about things like these: Was the person drunk when the accident happened? Did he run a red light? Has a company neglected to shovel a sidewalk?

Insurance company compensation

Before you decide to take the case to court, consider how much you will receive from insurance companies. Sometimes your health or auto insurance company may pay enough to reasonably cover your losses.

An insurance company may contact you through an adjuster, who may ask you to sign documents accepting the insurance company’s offer as settlement. This initial amount is likely to be small: remember that a lawyer may be able to get you a lot more. Avoid signing anything until you speak to a personal injury attorney.

On the other hand, the negligent party may have no insurance and few assets, which means you would have nothing to gain from a lawsuit.

You may not need to go to court

Often, cases involving personal injury never make it to court: many reach settlements before trial or are resolved without legal action being taken.

It is not always necessary to take legal action to be compensated for your losses. With the responsible party’s name and policy number, you can send a notice of claim to the insurance company, providing basic information about the accident and indicating that you are making a claim. Avoid being too specific: you will have to provide this information later. You can research writing notice and demand letters online, or write them with legal advice.

If the insurance company is cooperative, there will be settlement negotiations.

If the insurance company is uncooperative, it may be necessary to contact a lawyer and take legal action. Keep in mind the statute of limitations.

The Epoch Times Copyright © 2022 The views and opinions expressed are those of the authors. They are intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed or construed as a recommendation or solicitation. The Epoch Times does not provide investment, tax, legal, financial planning, estate planning, or other personal finance advice. Epoch Times assumes no responsibility for the accuracy or timeliness of the information provided.

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