Suppose you were injured in an accident that was not your fault. In this case, you might feel overwhelmed by the number of medical appointments and treatments and the financial costs associated with restoring your health. This is when you might have considered speaking to a personal injury lawyer about your case. Still, you might feel confused about what the bodily injury process involves and the results you can expect. Here are the steps that the claims process will involve to put your mind at ease.
What is a personal injury claim?
Your lawyer will explain to you that a personal injury claim is a formal legal process in which you seek financial compensation from the person responsible for your injuries. Your lawyer will also point out that the limitation period marks a two-year period to take legal action from the time you were injured, meaning there is no time to waste in making sure you don’t miss your chance to get the compensation you deserve.
The bodily injury process
Sending a letter of request
In the letter of formal notice, you and your lawyer will set out the arguments for which you deserve to be compensated for your damages. The information in the letter of formal notice will include the reasons why you believe this to be true, a summary of your wounds, the medical treatments you are receiving and their cost, the loss of income you suffer from being unable to work, and the damages you could claim for pain and suffering.
The insurance company will review this letter and decide whether or not to pay. They may consider you to be responsible for your injuries or that your evidence does not support your claim.
Filing a complaint about your bodily injury
This gives the court and the defendant official notice that you are taking legal action and seeking compensation if the insurance company declines your settlement offer. You can file a complaint against an insurance company, individual, business, or government agency.
The discovery process begins
During this stage, the defendant’s and plaintiff’s attorneys gather all the evidence, investigate the claim, question witnesses, and question all parties involved. In addition, medical bills, police reports, salary information and reports from insurance companies are collected.
Settlement of bodily injury claims
The vast majority of personal injury cases will be resolved at some point. This is achieved through negotiation or mediation. The parties come to an agreement and the plaintiff agrees to drop the lawsuit while the other party offers some sort of compensation to the point where both parties will be happy with the outcome. The settlement is put in writing and the court reviews the information. The agreement may also include a stipulation that no more money will be requested for the same claim.
Go to trial
A small percentage of personal injury claims end up in court, mainly because a settlement could not be reached. If this happens to you, you can expect the costs to increase dramatically and so will the lead time. To avoid getting there, lawyer Jérôme O. Fjeld recommends that you find a personal injury lawyer who can negotiate with the other party to obtain the damages you are claiming