Injured as a result of someone else’s negligence?
Have you sustained an injury as a result of someone else’s negligence? Most people know they can pursue or file a claim for personal injury but may not have a clear understanding of what is involved in pursuing a such a claim.
What is involved in the personal injury claims process?
- Seek medical attention: It is very important that you see a doctor. If the injury is severe and you need immediate treatment then you should go to an emergency room at the nearest hospital. You must see a physician as soon as reasonably possible. Even if you believe you are not severely injured you should have yourself checked out. Many injuries are not visible and become worse and more pronounced over time. Moreover, if you do not see a physician within 14 days of the accident you may not have the $10,000 in PIP available to you to pay for medical bills. Additionally, many people wait to see if the pain goes away but the insurance company and its lawyers will claim that the delay in treatment was because you simply were not injured. Don’t let this happen to you. Use you auto insurance and use your health insurance as well, if you have it.
- Contact a person injury lawyer: Insurance companies have attorneys on staff and have adjusters that are experts in dealing with these types of claims. You need the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney to assist you in how to best proceed, how to best respond to inquiries, how to evaluate your case and guide you with regard to the value of the case. How you phrase things can have a significant impact on how the case is ultimately resolved. .
- Process of Building the Claim: After counsel is retained, he or she begins to obtain evidence to establish liability (fault), obtain insurance information and limits for the at fault party, obtain witness statements, monitor your medical treatment. You should concentrate on receiving all the necessary medical treatment that has been recommended. Your attorney will also assist in calculating the amount of damages you are entitled to as a result of this incident.
- Submitting a Demand: Once you have finished with your medical treatment, you attorney will order all medical records and bills. He can then calculate the amount of past medical treatment and determine, with the assistance of your doctors, the anticipated future medical care costs, and thereafter fully detail your damages and submit a complete demand for them to the insurance company along with the documentation that substantiates your claim. The insurance company will receive the demand and respond with either a denial of the case contesting liability, a counteroffering a lower amount that the amount of our demand or accept the demand.
- Negotiation of the case: If the demand amount is accepted the case is closed. If the insurance company denies liability then usually a lawsuit must be filed before any type of settlement is reached. If a counter offer is received, sometimes negotiations can proceed and a fair and reasonable amount can be negotiated closing the case before suit filed. However, any settlement would have to be accepted and agreed to by you.
- Filing a Lawsuit: If settlement with the insurance company cannot be reached, then suit may have to be filed. That does not mean that you have to go to trial because it could still settle at any time before trial of the matter. However, you will likely have to participate in the discovery process and attend a deposition and mediation. If the case does not settle then trial may be necessary.
- Trial: At trial, a jury is selected and evidence is presented. At the end, a jury decides what amounts, if any , is awarded to you.
If you would like to schedule your FREE case evaluation give us a call at 407-863-3333 or 407-733-2615