Accidents can happen even to the most cautious of us when a negligent person or company acts irresponsibly. When such a mishap occurs, you need a personal injury lawyer to seek compensation for any damages or injuries incurred.
A personal injury lawyer will prepare you to navigate the often confusing and stressful aftermath of an accident. By asserting your rights, you can focus on what’s truly important—your recovery.
The Personal Injury Claim Process
If you suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence, you may seek compensation for your related expenses, including medical bills and lost income.
To obtain the damages you deserve, your lawyer can:
Inform the At-Fault Party of Your Intention to Claim
You need to file a letter of claim promptly after the accident This informs the person you believe to be at fault that you intend to claim compensation. The letter outlines the details of the accident, the injuries you have suffered, and why you hold them responsible. It is essential to send this letter as soon as possible to prevent any potential dispute over whether you notified them within a reasonable time.
An experienced personal injury lawyer can handle this situation and ensure the correct and timely submission of the document.
File the Claim With the Relevant Insurance Company
After gathering all necessary evidence, you can file your claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company. This requires the completion of specific forms and submission of your proof, providing comprehensive details regarding the accident and your injuries.
Negotiate a Settlement
Once you submit your claim, the insurance company will investigate it and make an offer to settle it. Negotiating a settlement can be quite complex and can take time. You need patience and negotiation skills to ensure you get a settlement that truly compensates your loss, and an experienced personal injury attorney is vital in this situation. They can ensure the insurance company does not take advantage of your situation and can negotiate with them on your behalf.
Go to Court if Necessary
If settlement negotiations fail, you may file a lawsuit and take your claim to court. A judge—or a judge and jury—will assess your evidence and determine your award. Long and challenging court proceedings require legal representation.
Each step in the process of a personal injury claim plays a vital role in ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve. It’s essential to be diligent and meticulous to improve your chances of success.
Why Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?
A personal injury claim requires a lot of legal know-how and attention to detail to avoid missteps. Such errors could cost you the compensation you deserve. Hire a personal injury lawyer to protect your interests.
When Should I Hire a Lawyer
Hire a personal injury lawyer if your accident injured you, if multiple parties make liability unclear, or if the insurance company refuses to pay or engages in bad-faith tactics.
Hire a lawyer if the accident involves complicated legal or medical issues or if a significant amount of time has passed since the accident and you still cannot settle the claim. A lawyer can prove invaluable at any stage of the claim process, but generally, the earlier you engage one, the better.
Benefits of Hiring a Lawyer
The benefits of hiring a lawyer for your personal injury claim are numerous. They can advise you on your rights and explain the complex legal procedures filing a personal injury claim entails. They will also handle all paperwork and negotiations with the insurance company, allowing you to focus on your recovery.
Choosing the Right Lawyer
When looking to hire a lawyer, find one with experience in personal injury law, a reputable track record, compassion for your situation, and you can easily communicate with.
Begin by asking for referrals from friends, family, or other lawyers. Once you have a list, contact the attorney to discuss your case and ask questions about their experience, their approach to your claim, and their fee structure.
Remember, hiring a lawyer is an investment in your future well-being. Therefore, take the time to find one that is right for you and your case. By doing so, you will considerably increase your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve.
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Making a Personal Injury Claim
Individuals unfamiliar with the personal injury claim process make terrible mistakes. These errors lead to a denied claim or a reduced settlement. To avoid such pitfall:
Seek Immediate Medical Treatment
One of the most common and serious mistakes people make is not seeking immediate medical attention after an accident. Even if your injuries seem minor, getting a professional medical assessment is essential. This is crucial for your health and also creates a medical record of your injuries, which could be crucial evidence for your claim.
Properly Document the Accident and Injuries
Documentation is critical in a personal injury claim. This includes photos of the accident scene, witness testimony, and detailed medical records of your injuries and treatment. Failing to obtain documents of the accident and injuries properly could make it harder to prove the extent of your damages and could reduce the amount of compensation you receive.
Report the Accident to the Relevant Authorities
Always report the accident to the police or proper authorities. A written accident report can help prove your claim. Failing to report the accident can lead to questions about the validity of your claim and derail your chances of getting the compensation you deserve.
Reject a Low Initial Offer
Insurance companies are often eager to settle personal injury claims as quickly and cheaply as possible. They may offer a quick settlement that seems fair. These initial offers, however, rarely pay what you deserve. Never jump at the first offer and instead discuss the amount with an experienced personal injury attorney to ensure you are getting a fair deal.
File Your Claim Before the Statute of Limitations Expires
Another common mistake in personal injury claims is not filing the claim within the relevant time limit, or statute of limitations. Each state has its own set time limit for filing a personal injury claim, which can range from one to six years, typically starting from the date of the accident.
Failing to file your claim within this period can result in losing your right to pursue compensation.
Act swiftly and file your claim in accordance with the statute of limitations in your state. Review your case with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. They can explain the timeline and correct and timely file your claim.
After ensuring your immediate safety following an accident, to further protect your rights and potential injury claims:
- Do not discuss fault: Do not discuss the accident with anyone at the scene, and especially do not admit any fault or liability. Other parties may use any statements you make against you later on.
- Notify your insurance company: Notify your insurance company about the accident as soon as possible. In fact, let your lawyer notify your insurer.
- Contact a personal injury lawyer: Before making any decisions or signing any documents, contact a knowledgeable personal injury attorney. They can explain your rights, guide you through the process, and ensure you make informed decisions.
Filing a personal injury claim may seem complex and intimidating. By understanding and avoiding these common mistakes, however, you come one step closer to receiving the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Today and Fight for the Justice You Deserve
Navigating the legal complexities of personal injury claims can be overwhelming, particularly when you are focusing on your recovery. A personal injury lawyer can guide you through the process and fight for your rights.
An experienced legal professional can increase your chances of a successful claim and recover the maximum compensation you deserve. Contact a skilled personal injury attorney today for your free case review.
Mr. Finkelstein is the Managing Partner of Finkelstein & Partners, LLP. He has become a noted consumer activist through his representation of injured individuals against corporate wrongdoers and irresponsible parties.
An accomplished litigator, Mr. Finkelstein has represented Plaintiffs in wrongful death and catastrophic personal injury cases. He has successfully handled dozens of multi-million dollar cases.