When you are injured by the negligent or irresponsible actions of another person, it’s important that you are adept at filing a personal injury claim. While there are informative guides available to help with the process, nothing beats first-hand advice from those who have successfully navigated through the legal terrain. Here are six tips for getting started on your personal injury claim.
1. Hire A Personal Injury Lawyer
If you’ve decided to file a personal injury claim, the next step is to hire a lawyer. A lawyer will help represent you throughout the duration of your case, and can be particularly helpful if things get complicated or overwhelming for you. Visit Brock Manini Jury Lawyer for more legal assistance. If you don’t have your own attorney, there are public defense lawyers who can work on contingency. This means that they charge no upfront fee and receive money only if your case results in a monetary award (damage compensation). Search online for “personal injury lawyer” within your state and then research their credentials before making your decision. You can also go to FreedomLaw.ca and see more information about getting a personal injury lawyer. The benefits of hiring a personal injury lawyer are that they have experience with similar cases to yours, are familiar with the courts in your jurisdiction, and know the elements of proving your case. Click here for Sacramento car accident lawyer.
2. Gather Evidence
Evidence is key in helping you prove your claim for damages, so it’s important to gather as much evidence as possible. This means getting copies of accident reports, official medical records (if you’ve sought treatment), photos (to document your injuries and the scene at the time of the accident) and anything else that supports your case. Be sure to keep a journal or file where you store all this information. Taking detailed notes at the time of the accident may be helpful to refresh your memory later on. Your lawyer will want copies of any and all doctor’s reports, x-rays, surgeries performed, prescriptions filled and bills paid. If you have difficulty obtaining these documents yourself, enlist the help of a medical professional you trust and let your lawyer know exactly what he or she is required to provide.
3. Check Your Health Insurance
Your first priority after an accident is to seek medical attention, and you might not think about the various aspects of your insurance coverage at the time. However, it’s important to know what you are covered for so that you don’t have any problems down the road. For example, if your health plan provides a $1,000 deductible per accident and your medical bills add up to $2,500, this means that you will be responsible for paying half of the costs out of pocket even though you were not at fault. Carefully review all aspects of your insurance coverage before getting started on a personal injury claim or speaking with an insurance provider about your potential claim. This can sometimes be a lengthy process, so be patient. Once your claim is filed, you might expect that it will automatically get approved by the insurance company. This is not necessarily true and, in some cases, the insurance company may refuse to pay you any compensation even if they are found liable for causing the accident.
4. Contacting The Other Party
The next step in filing a personal injury claim is contacting the person who was responsible for your injuries and asking them to compensate you for your damages. You can make this request in a letter or email, but it’s always best to speak with them directly if possible. If they are not willing to meet with you face-to-face, then you can ask that they provide an offer in writing. There are some cases where the other party will be more than willing to compensate you for your injuries and property damage right away, so don’t delay in reaching out to them. However, if they don’t appear interested in helping after several attempts, there is nothing wrong with using legal counsel at this point or filing a claim against them through the court system. This will cost you a little extra money, but it may help to move things along faster and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
5. The Settlement Process
After you have contacted the other party, it’s time to negotiate a respectable settlement for your case. Depending on the circumstances of your accident and the injuries suffered, your lawyer may be able to help you settle the claim quickly. However, if there are any disagreements about how much compensation is fair and/or whether the other party was at fault for causing the accident, it’s time to take legal action through the court system. The process of getting a personal injury lawsuit filed can vary from state to state, and it might be necessary for you to hire a local attorney who specializes in this area of law. Make sure that you provide as much information as possible about your case whenever you meet with a new attorney so that they will understand what happened and have a good idea of what your potential outcome could be.
6. What To Do After Reaching An Agreement
After agreeing upon terms for a settlement, you will have to sign a contract that covers all the details of the arrangement. As with any legal agreement, it’s important not to sign anything before reading each page carefully and asking any questions you may have about the process. In addition, you should also seek input from your family members so that they can provide their own input if necessary, since this is an extremely personal issue for everyone involved. Once everything has been signed by both parties in a position to receive compensation, then the matter is settled and you won’t ever have to worry about going through this process again in regard to this particular accident. However, it’s good practice to review your insurance coverage on a regular basis in case there are any changes or new loopholes that might come up in the future.
With these 6 personal injury claim tips, you should be able to make the process move along more smoothly and ensure that you receive all the compensation you deserve for your injuries. So, follow the instructions in this guide and hire an attorney before moving forward. Good luck!