A personal injury isn’t something anyone expects would happen to them, but the fact is that it happens, and when it does, you have to be prepared for it. If you’re clueless about what to do in those cases, you might make a wrong move and lose your claim. Whether you have insurance, or you’re making a claim against an individual who caused the injury, you still have to make a claim and make a case. So, here’s a step-by-step guide to filing a personal injury claim:
First and foremost, you’ll need evidence of the claim you’re making. No matter how big or small the injury might have been, you’ll need to prove the extent of the injury and back it with medical records. Even if you don’t have any currently presenting issues, there are conditions that can develop over time, and having a report that you did, in fact, go to the doctor right after the injury will prove that you did every step to check your health and that you’re not trying to scam the insurance company. Make sure that your doctor documents every part of the exam and get copies of the report, signed and stamped. You will need all of this when filing your claim. Remember that the severity of your injuries determines the amount of compensation you will get, so make sure that the evaluation is realistic and take note of anything that might inhibit your life or work.
This isn’t something you can go in alone. There are a million things that can go wrong and a thousand loopholes that an attorney can exploit if given a chance. So, if you don’t already have a personal attorney (and one that has experience with personal injury claims), you’ll want to seek one out. You’ll also want a lawyer that is local because state laws can differ wildly. If you suffered a personal injury in Atlanta, you’ll want a lawyer from Atlanta, familiar with how the system works there. If you got injured far from home, you should check with a lawyer where you should file your claim – in your home state or abroad. There is no universal answer and you’ll want to check the details for your specific case.
Together with your lawyer, gather all of the needed information and start formatting your claim. You’ll need all the evidence you can gather – from medical statements, witness testimonies, personal testimonies, any footage that might have captured the event, and everything else that might play a role in settling the claim. Remember that the other side will try to disprove your claim or minimize it, so don’t give them any chance to make you look like you are lying or that you are exaggerating the claims. Make sure you have digital copies of everything, that you couple check everything you fill out and file and make hard copies of anything applicable.
Most cases don’t go to court. Both sides present their case and you try to reach a settlement. Odds are, you’ll be sitting this one out. Sure, you’ll be present, but just let your lawyer do all the talking and let them negotiate the best deal. Upon reviewing the other side’s case and evidence, you might have to settle for something less than what you originally expected, or you might want to push for an even higher price. This process of back-and-forth can take a while, so just be patient and trust your attorney. In case a settlement can’t be reached, the case will go to court. This will once again be a long process – getting a date and then going through all of the motions can take years.
If you win the case, or you reach a settlement, you’ll also negotiate on the payment. Odds are you won’t be paid a big sum at once, but you’ll set up a payment plan, especially if the other party is an individual that is paying out of their own pocket. This is often the better option because forcing them to give a large sum might cause them to Bancroft and you not to see a penny for a very long time.
So, if you ever get injured, now you know how to file a personal injury claim that follows procedure and will hopefully have a positive outcome. Oftentimes, the compensation doesn’t come close to covering what you’ve lost, especially if it’s a big decrease in quality of life, but it can offer some comfort, and you are very much entitled to it.