Did you know accidental injuries are the third leading cause of death in the States? If you want to learn about what the personal injury process is like, we can help.
In this guide, we’ll go over the steps of a personal injury claim process.
Want to learn more? Keep reading.
Hire a Reputable Personal Injury Attorney
After you get injured in an accident, you’ll need to find a reputable lawyer. You don’t have to hire an attorney to file an injury claim. Yet, having a personal injury attorney will help you with the process.
If you work with a reputable attorney, you’ll have a better experience. They will help you navigate this complicated process.
To find a reputable personal injury attorney, try and get recommendations. Ask your network if they can recommend any personal injury attorneys.
After you have a list of names, research the attorneys online on a lawyer ranking website.
Once you narrowed down your choices, meet with the lawyers. Most personal injury attorneys will offer a free initial consultation. During the consultation, the attorney will answer questions you have.
The attorney will also evaluate your case and give you information about how to move forward. You’ll discover during this meeting if you could work with this attorney. Do you like their communication style?
Do you feel comfortable working with them? After you hire the attorney and they take your case, you’ll discuss fees.
Most personal injury attorneys will work on a contingency fee. They don’t get paid unless you end up getting a settlement.
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What Is a Personal Injury Claim?
A personal injury claim is a process where the plaintiff asks for financial compensation from the defendant. The plaintiff is the injured party, and the defendant is the party they believe is liable.
The process will start with a demand letter. The plaintiff will request payment for their damages from the defendant.
If the insurance company doesn’t pay or can’t reach a compromise, the case moves to the lawsuit state. These two parts of the process are pre-litigation and litigation.
Send a Demand Letter
You’ll begin with the demand letter. It is the main focus of personal injury claims.
You outline an argument to the insurance company about why they should compensate.
You’ll summarize the injuries and provide information about medical treatments and the costs. The letter will also explain why the defendant is liable or legally responsible.
Next, the letter will describe how much income the plaintiff lost because they were off work. There will be information about other damages suffered.
The insurance company will review this claim and make a decision about compensation. Some will refuse to pay. Insurance companies deny claims because there’s a lack of evidence.
Sometimes, they deny the claim because they think the incident didn’t cause the injuries. The insurance company might think the accident was the plaintiff’s fault.
If the insurance doesn’t pay enough or won’t pay, then the injured party and attorney will file a complaint.
Filing a Complaint
Filing a complaint is an official notice to the defendant and the court that a lawsuit’s filed. The plaintiff is looking for compensation for their damages.
A formal complaint gets filed against an insurance company. A lawsuit will get filed against a private citizen, government agency, or business.
The formal complaint will list the court’s jurisdiction over the case. It will also list the defendant’s legal claims along with evidence and facts that support the claims.
After the complaint gets filed, you have 30 days to serve the complaint to the defendant. The delivery needs to get done in person, so you have proof of receipt.
After the defendant receives the notice, they have 30 days to respond. If they don’t answer, the court awards a default judgment in the plaintiff’s favor. If they do respond, the case proceeds.
What Is the Discovery Process?
During the discovery process, you’ll learn more information about the case.
The plaintiff and the defendant’s attorneys gather evidence. They will speak to witnesses, investigate the claim, and question the parties involved.
The questioning of both parties is called a deposition. Both attorneys will gather police records, insurance reports, wage information, and medical bills. This information provides a clear picture of what happened.
During the discovery process, either side could file motions with the court. Some might file to have the case delayed, dismissed, or for a judgment to get reached.
A settlement is an agreement between the two parties to end the case. Yet, this agreement’s based on specific arrangements.
A common situation is that the plaintiff agrees to drop the lawsuit for compensation.
After the amount gets agreed upon, it’s put into writing, and the settlement gets finalized. The court will review the information, and it turns into a legally binding contract.
These contracts might have other stipulations. One might be that the plaintiff doesn’t try to get more money in the future. Another could be that they won’t disclose the amount of the settlement.
Now You Know More About the Personal Injury Claim Process
We hope this guide on personal injury cases was helpful. Now that you know more about a personal injury claim process look for a reputable attorney.
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