Suppose you have suffered injuries in an accident that happened through no fault of your own. In that case, you may be feeling overwhelmed by the number of medical appointments and treatments and by the financial costs associated with recovering your health. That is when you might have considered talking to a personal injury attorney about your case. Still, you might feel confused about what the personal injury process entails and the results you can expect. Here are the steps that the claim process will involve to set your mind at ease.
What is a personal injury claim?
Your lawyer will explain that a personal injury claim is a formal legal process in which you seek financial compensation from the person responsible for your injuries. Your lawyer will also point out that the statute of limitations marks a period of two years to file the lawsuit from the moment you were injured, meaning that there is no time to waste to make sure you don’t miss your opportunity to get the compensation you deserve.
The Personal Injury Process
Sending a Demand Letter
In the demand letter, you and your lawyer will be laying out the arguments as to why you deserve to be compensated for your damages. Information in the demand letter will include the reasons why you believe this to be true, a summary of your injuries, the medical treatments you are undergoing and their cost, the loss of income you are experiencing by being unable to work, and damages you may be seeking for pain and suffering.
The insurance company will review this letter and come to a decision as to whether they will or will not pay. They may consider that you are responsible for your injuries or that your evidence does not support your claim.
Filing a Complaint About Your Personal Injury
This gives the court and the defendant official notice that you are filing a lawsuit and are seeking compensation if the insurance company denies your settlement offer. You can file a complaint against an insurance company, an individual, a business, or a government agency.
The Discovery Process Begins
During this stage, both the defendant’s and the plaintiff’s lawyers gather all evidence, investigate the claim, interview witnesses, and question all parties involved. Also, medical bills, police reports, wage information, and insurance company reports are gathered.
Personal Injury Claim Settlements
The great majority of personal injury cases will reach a settlement at some point. This is achieved through negotiation or mediation. The parties come to an agreement, and the plaintiff agrees to drop the lawsuit while the other party offers some sort of compensation to the point where both parties will be satisfied with the result. The settlement is put into writing, and the court reviews the information. The agreement may also include a stipulation that no more money will be sought for the same claim.
Going to Trial
A small percentage of personal injury claims end up in court, mostly because a settlement could not be reached. If this happens to you, you can expect the costs to rise considerably and the timeline as well. To avoid reaching this point, lawyer Jerome O. Fjeld recommends that you find an experienced personal injury attorney that will know how to negotiate with the other party to obtain the damages you seek
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