You might have heard the phrase ‘personal injury claim’ several times but do not know what it is. A personal injury claim or lawsuit is a legal action you can pursue to get compensation for an injury or accident that was someone else’s fault.
For example, you could file a lawsuit after a dog bite to receive compensation for medical expenses or future treatment. You could also file a personal injury lawsuit against a doctor and the hospital they work in for medical malpractice. However, you must follow the proper legal process to receive fair compensation. This article will explain the critical steps in pursuing a personal injury claim.
Seek Medical Care
It does not matter if you are a victim of a slip and fall incident at work or a trucking accident on the highway; you must seek medical attention. Why? During medical screening, the doctor will assess the harm an accident has caused, determine the medication you will need, and write a detailed report. Failure to seek medical care gives the at-fault party’s insurance company a reason to reject or devalue your claim. They might argue your injuries are not significant enough to warrant compensation.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
After receiving a professional medical assessment, consult a lawyer specializing in personal injury law. According to www.cohenfeeley.com, lawyers understand the profound impact personal injuries have on your emotional and financial well-being. The complexities of legal claims can also have an emotional toll on you. An experienced lawyer will help you navigate the process and secure fair compensation. However, you should be ready to discuss several matters like:
- What caused the injuries?
Was it someone else’s negligence or other reason? The American Bar Association says intentional wrongs or strict liabilities are the basis for personal injury claims. For example, if someone hits and injures you with intention, you can sue them for personal injury. Likewise, you can sue a company for selling a product that caused physical, emotional, and financial harm.
- Evidence you need to gather
You need proof to build a solid personal injury case. So, your attorney will ask for a medical report and bills, an official police statement, videos or photos of the injuries, eyewitness statements, and pictures of the accident scene. If you still need to gather more proof for your claim, do not worry. Your lawyer will assist you.
- How your injuries have affected your life
Too often, insurance companies offer compensation for personal injuries based on medical expenses. It would be best to be honest with your lawyer about the injuries’ impact on your overall health, social life, and job. That way, they can calculate the amount of settlement you need. According to Forbes, types of injury compensation your attorney can fight for include:
- pain and suffering
- medical expenses
- lost wages
- disfigurement or disabilities
File an Official Claim in Court
Whether you are pursuing a claim that entails legalities on car accidents, workplace injury, or product liability, an attorney will file a claim in court after they have issued a demand letter to the party at fault. This letter states how much the negligent party should compensate for the victim’s injuries. If rejected, your lawyer files an official claim in court. The court will review the attached complaint and evidence and determine if the lawsuit you are pursuing is valid. Once the court issues approval, you can start the litigation process.
This phase allows your legal representative, insurance company, or at-fault party to gather additional evidence for your claim or accident. For instance, your lawyer could identify and pursue detailed information from witnesses. Alternatively, they could gather video evidence or other proof of negligence the at-fault is guilty of. Past injuries caused by the other party might also come into play, giving your attorney an upper hand.
Do not be surprised if your personal injury lawsuit ends in the settlement phase. Based on the Law Dictionary, only 4-5% of injury cases go to trial. As a result, all the parties involved in the personal injury case negotiate the amount of settlement you receive. With that in mind, you need a legal professional with excellent negotiation skills to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
Pursuing a personal injury claim to receive compensation for financial loss, physical pain, and emotional distress linked to an accident that was someone else’s fault is stressful. However, you can achieve the best outcome if you follow the proper steps, including obtaining medical records, hiring a skilled personal injury lawyer, filing a complaint in court, gathering evidence, and negotiating a fair settlement with the insurance company.