Before filing your claim, you need to build your case by collecting evidence. This step is where a lawyer can be immensely helpful. Supportive evidence can come in many forms, including:
- Medical records
- Accident photos and reports
- Injury photos
- Eye witness testimonies
- Financial documents
- Expert witnesses
- Insurance records
During this process, try to document and save everything. Any paperwork you receive from healthcare professionals, insurance companies, or the police should be stored or handed over to your attorney. Your lawyer will do most of the work but may need your help retrieving certain information.
File the Personal Injury Claim
Once you gather enough evidence to build a decent case, it’s time to contact the defendant and file your claim. Again, your lawyer will typically handle this task. They will send a formal letter informing the other party of your intent to sue for compensation. This letter often allows the other party to review the demands and relevant information. Filing a personal injury claim can be a complex and daunting process.
This article offers a comprehensive personal injury timeline for claims to help you understand the process and what to expect.
Types of Personal Injury Cases
Personal injury cases can come from various situations, usually caused by someone else’s negligence. Below are some of the most common personal injury cases:
- Car accidents
- Trucking accidents
- Premises liability
- Product liability
- Medical malpractice
- Workplace injury
- Nursing home abuse
- Aviation injury
- Police misconduct
- Dangerous drugs
- Dangerous medical devices
- Boating or maritime injury
If you’ve been a victim in one of these accidents, you can seek compensation by beginning the claims process explained below.
Seek Medical Treatment
Before you do anything, you need to take care of yourself. Seek treatment for your injury immediately. Some injuries may be worse than they appear, so getting checked out by a doctor is essential.
Even if it’s an injury you can treat without medical attention, visiting a doctor and obtaining medical records can help support your claim later. Medical bills and documents serve as crucial evidence in personal injury cases.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
Once you’ve taken care of yourself, the next step is to contact a lawyer. Navigating a personal injury case without a professional attorney can be a nightmare. If you want to receive compensation for your case successfully, a lawyer can help you build a sturdy case, so you get the optimal outcome.
Personal injury lawyers have abundant experience and knowledge with these claims, so they’ll make the process smoother.
Once you file your official claim and notify the defendant, negotiations can begin. Negotiations can be via attorney correspondence or in-person meetings where both parties and their lawyers are present. During these negotiations, the two parties can try to reach a compromise on the compensation amount to avoid taking the case to court.
Many personal injury cases end in a negotiated settlement, especially if the defendant is a company. If the two parties cannot agree on a settlement, the case moves to court, where a judge or jury will make the final decision.
Trial and Settlement
Moving forward to trial, your lawyer will advise you to have a trial by jury or judge, depending on the details of your case.
If technicalities are on your side, your lawyer will likely recommend a trial by a judge. If sympathy is on your side, a trial by jury may be the better option. During the case, your lawyer will present all gathered evidence and possibly call witnesses if necessary.
Starting the Process
As mentioned, you should seek medical treatment and tend to your injuries before doing anything else. But once you address your health, hiring a lawyer is the most crucial part of starting the personal injury claims process.
If you were injured due to someone else’s negligence, a personal injury case could help you get adequate compensation to cover your medical expenses and help you find justice.