When you’re hurt, you may be eligible for a personal injury claim. But many people don’t know exactly what steps are involved in the claim process or when they should move forward with their case and go to court.
The attorneys of Gibbs & Crivelli, Slingshot Law have helped countless victims receive fair compensation for the damage they sustained either through negotiation or by going to court. Here’s what you need to know about your personal injury claim process and what you can expect when recovering from your injuries.
Report the Injury and Get Medical Care
Reporting the injury to police and insurance companies is a must. It’s also important to report it to any relevant party.
For example, if you are injured at work, you may need to report your injuries to your employer, so they can report the accident to their insurer. If you’re in an accident with your friend’s vehicle, you should notify them of the incident as soon as possible so that they can get in touch with their insurance company.
After that, you should seek medical care immediately. While some injuries may not appear serious at first, you should still seek treatment for them. Your doctor can conduct a thorough examination and provide you with an accurate diagnosis and medical records that you can use later to prove your claim.
Even if you feel fine, getting help can make a big difference. You may be suffering from delayed injuries, meaning you may not notice your injuries for days or weeks. If you don’t seek medical care immediately after the accident, the insurance company may try to claim your injuries must be unrelated.
It’s important to preserve any evidence you can. After you’re in a car accident, take photos of the scene, your car and its damage, your injuries, and the other driver’s car and license plate number. If possible, try to get a photo of their insurance card as well so you can provide this documentation to your attorney later on.
You should also get a statement from the police about what happened. Their report will help ensure there’s no dispute about who caused the accident.
Talk to a Personal Injury Lawyer
After you’ve gathered the necessary evidence and reported your accident to the right people, talk to an attorney and negotiate with the insurance companies. Your lawyer can tell you what’s fair compensation and provide guidance on whether to accept a settlement offer or take your claim to court.
If negotiations fail, you may decide to file a lawsuit. Quality legal representation is critical because you will need to file within a certain time frame, in the correct court, against the correct party, and with all the appropriate paperwork.
The discovery phase of the personal injury claim process is when you and your lawyer exchange information, documents, and other materials with the insurance companies. Discovery is a legal proceeding in which one party can obtain information from another party.
In this situation, note that discovery is not conducted by a third party such as a judge or mediator. It’s done directly between you and the insurance companies. Your lawyer will be the mediator in this scenario.
The purpose of this stage of your case isn’t to prove who caused the injury. Instead, it’s designed to give both sides an opportunity to gather evidence before trial so they know exactly where they stand when it comes time for trial. Here’s what you should expect during discovery:
The defendant will ask for medical notes and records and bills related to your injuries and treatment
You’ll be asked about how much work you’ve missed since getting injured, as well as other damages
Your lawyer will request any relevant documents from doctors or medical providers involved in treating you
Settlement Negotiations and Trial
The settlement process is when you and your attorney try to negotiate an amount of money that will allow you to recover from your injuries and provide compensation for your medical bills and lost wages. If a settlement agreement is reached, it must be approved by the court before it can be finalized.
If no agreement is reached, hearing your case in court is the final phase of the personal injury claim process. It is a formal hearing where both sides present their evidence and arguments to the judge or jury.
Get a Lawyer’s Help During the Claim Process
If you are interested in pursuing the personal injury claim process and want to collect financial damage for yourself or a loved one, please don’t hesitate to contact Gibbs & Crivelli, Slingshot Law. We offer legal representation for victims and provide our clients with guidance through all the steps they’re required to take, from negotiation through trial, if necessary.
Reach out for a free consultation by calling 800-488-7840. You can also fill out our online contact form below.
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