If you have been injured in a car accident following the reckless action or inaction of a fellow road user, then you may be eligible for compensation from the party responsible for the accident. However, first, you need to file a personal injury claim.
Why it is Important to Do it Right
If you have filed a personal injury claim before, then you understand that many pitfalls can lead to the invalidation of your claim. The process may be overwhelming for someone who has never filed a personal injury claim before, which is why it is vital to seek legal counsel if you have no clue how to go about it.
Filing a personal injury claim can only be done once following the accident. You don’t get another chance to claim compensation if your claim exceeds the statute of limitations. For that reason, your application must be filed according to legal provisions to increase the chances of success.
The process of filing a personal injury claim starts immediately after the accident. Here is what you should do.
Seek Medical Attention
Whether your injuries require immediate treatment or not, the first thing you should do following a car accident is to seek treatment. Some injuries don’t manifest right away, and you may be tempted to ignore this step or assume that you survived unscathed. However, it is essential to get at least a medical examination to assess your condition, whether you suffer immediate pain and discomfort or not.
This step is crucial to the success of your personal injury claim. If you forego medical treatment, it might affect your chances of getting compensated. The responsible party’s insurance provider may question the severity of your injuries, and this will discredit your injury claim.
Speak to a Personal Injury Attorney specialized in Car Accidents cases
Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer immediately after a car accident if you suffer extensive injuries that require multiple visits to the hospital or hospitalization. Sometimes this may not be necessary, such as when the injuries are minor, and the responsible party’s insurance company is willing to provide adequate compensation. In such instances, you can settle your personal injury claim without a lawyer’s advice.
However, should you suffer serious injuries, seek advice from an experienced personal injury attorney even if you don’t want to hire them. You may not be aware of all the requirements of filing a personal injury claim, as well as the statute of limitations, which sets a time limit upon your claim’s validity.
File the Claim
After filing and submitting your personal injury claim, you or your attorney should notify the responsible party and their insurance provider about the claim. This opens dialogue, and may sometimes result in an out of court settlement.
Collecting Estimates for the Extent of Damage and Injuries
To determine the appropriate compensation, you and your lawyer should start gathering invoices from the hospital and the car repair shop to assess the extent of damage incurred. Speak to your doctor to learn about the nature of your injuries, and discuss the cost of treatment throughout your recovery. If you are unable to resume working, collect all evidence of lost wages to submit as part of the damages inflicted upon you and your standards of living.
Start the Negotiations
You or your attorney may now present your compensation amount to the responsible party to initiate negotiations. The responsible person or their insurance provider may counter your compensation demand with the amount they believe is fair compensation. You can accept or deny their counter offer depending on whether it matches your compensation claim. Should both parties fail to reach an agreement, then a legal suit is filed, and the case goes to trial.
Go to Trial
If no consensus is reached, then trial becomes inevitable. The preliminaries before a lawsuit goes to court are as follows:
The initiation of a lawsuit begins by filing a legal complaint seeking compensation for damages. This is in the form of a written document. In the buildup to the trial, opposing counsels exchange information, and you may be required to give a deposition. Once the trial begins, the evidence is brought before a jury and contested by opposing counsels to determine whether the claim should prevail or be denied. If your claim prevails, then the compensation amount to be awarded to you is determined by a judge or jury.
Need an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney?
It is crucial to have the right personal injury lawyer when going to trial. Experience counts for a lot in such instances, but ideally, the best personal injury lawyer for a car accident would be the one with the most results.
Stambaugh Law has been catering to personal injury cases for close to three decades. We are an established law firm with plenty of experience, but more importantly, we are the attorneys that will go to the mat for you just to make sure you get your fair compensation. Contact us for a free consultation today.