Whatever you do or how careful you are, there is a chance that you may be injured in an accident due to someone else’s negligent behavior. If this has happened to you, you may be wondering whether you are entitled to compensation from the party at fault and what steps would be needed to file a personal injury claim. Read on to find out what steps are involved in this process. You may also want to talk to some personal injury attorneys to have any further concerns answered.
Seek Medical Attention
Whether you end up filing a claim or not, your health should always be your priority. As soon as you are in an accident, seek medical assistance even if you have no obvious injuries. When you have adrenaline flowing through your veins, you may not be fully aware of any potential injuries that may require your attention.
By receiving prompt medical attention, you may uncover injuries that may not be obvious, such as internal bleeding or damage to your organs. You should also follow your doctor’s advice regarding all treatments.
Get Legal Representation
You will want to work with an experienced and reputable personal injury attorney to help you with your claim. Statistics show that people who tackle a personal injury claim without the help of an attorney tend to recover about a third of what they would get when an attorney is in the picture.
Gather as Much Documentation as Possible
Your case will be that much stronger if you have evidence to back up your claim. Although your personal injury lawyer will conduct an investigation into your case and gather as much evidence as possible, you can help strengthen your case by collecting evidence at the scene of the accident.
If you were in a car accident, take pictures of both cars and their damage and photograph your injuries, and anything that might have played a role in the crash. Exchange information with the other driver without engaging in conversation or admitting any guilt, and interview any witnesses that might have seen what happened.
Keep a detailed record of all your medical bills as well as of the income you have not earned by being unable to go to work.
After gathering and reviewing all evidence, your attorney will draft a demand letter that will be given to the other party or their insurance company. Before this is done, your attorney may want to wait until you are fully recovered from your injuries in order to place a fair value on your claim.
Negotiations and Settlement Agreement
Once the demand letter has been submitted, the insurance company may agree to your demands or they may make a counteroffer. If this happens, your attorney will enter into negotiations with a representative from the insurance company. Issues may be discussed back and forth until an amount is agreed upon.
File a Personal Injury Lawsuit
If the negotiations with the insurance company stall, there is the option of filing a lawsuit in court. If you get to this stage, you may have to wait for weeks or months to get the compensation you are seeking since there are further steps that must be taken for the judge to decide on the amount that you will be awarded.