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Personal injury claims: a comprehensive guide

On Behalf of | Dec 22, 2023 | Personal Injury

If you have suffered a personal injury, you may be wondering what to do next. Perhaps you have seen billboards featuring personal injury attorneys offering to help you get compensation for your injuries, but you are not exactly sure how the process works.

Starting a personal injury claim can be complex, but understanding the steps in the process can help you pursue a fair resolution. In simplified terms, the step-by-step process involved in a personal injury lawsuit from beginning to end entails:

  1. You must seek medical attention. The most crucial step in this process is seeking and receiving immediate medical attention after your injury occurs. Prompt medical care not only ensures your well-being but also establishes a record of your injuries, which could make or break your claim.
  2. Document the scene of the accident; if you can do so, take photographs of the surroundings at the scene of the accident, any vehicles involved, and hazardous conditions that may have contributed to the accident, for example, snow and ice.
  3. Report the incident immediately. It is critical that you report the incident to the authorities to make sure that you protect yourself. Remember that in many personal injury cases, the other side will use things against you, which is why you need to report it and correspond with relevant parties who can keep an official record of the incident.
  4. Preserve evidence: it is equally important to keep all the evidence you have and make copies of it. If you can, start a new file, ideally both electronic and in paper format, where you document absolutely everything relevant to the case.
  5. Speak with a qualified attorney who can help you: Many attorneys across the state practice personal injury law and many will offer free consultations. Make sure you know that not all attorneys are the same, even if they practice within the same area of law.
  6. Determination of liability: after your case is in the hands of a qualified personal injury attorney who can help you, they will investigate the matter to determine whether the circumstances of the injury establish liability.
  7. Filing the claim: The attorney representing you will help you file an insurance claim with the party who is at fault. Insurance adjusters will investigate the claim as well. Typically, insurance companies have a team of experienced insurance adjusters working for them.
  8. Negotiation of a settlement: your attorney will engage in negotiations with the insurance company on your behalf and communicate with you to ensure that you are involved in the negotiations and that you approve of any settlement offer if the parties settle.
  9. Suing: if you cannot settle with the other party, you can sue them. This process involves filing a formal complaint in a court of law, outlining your case. After you file, the other side will respond to your complaint, and the legal process begins.
  10. Discovery period: during this time, both parties exchange any information that applies to the case and evidence, which may include depositions, document requests, and interrogatories. This phase allows the parties to strengthen their case before presenting it at trial.
  11. Settlement conferences or mediation: before a trial begins, the parties must meet with the judge for a settlement conference. The judge may instruct the parties to attempt mediating the case prior to going to trial. If mediation does not work, the parties trial.
  12. Trial: This is when each attorney can present their case on behalf of their client. During this phase, your attorney will argue for the compensation requested.
  13. Judgment and appeal phases: if the court rules in your favor, the court issues a judgment, determining the compensation you shall receive. The non-prevailing party can appeal the decision, prolonging the legal process.
  14. Compensation collection: During this stage, the prevailing party receives the money to which the court’s judgment entitles them.

Though most personal injury lawsuits follow this order, each case is unique.

Knowledge is critical

However, understanding the basics of a personal injury claim is critical. In addition, having a knowledgeable attorney who can represent your best interests can maximize your chances of achieving a favorable result.

Remember that this guide is a simplified overview of the personal injury claims process and, many times, it involves additional complexities that are not spelled out in this guide.


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