What is the Personal Injury Claims Process?

You may have a valid personal injury claim if you have been injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence. Pursuing compensation can help cover medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering resulting from the accident. In the United States, around 40 million people file personal injury claims each year. Here is an overview of how the personal injury claims process typically works. 

Seek Medical Care

The first step is to seek any necessary medical treatment right away. Get checked out by a doctor to document your injuries. Save all receipts and records related to medical care, prescriptions, medical equipment, and any other injury-related expenses. These will help support and value your claim.

Gather Evidence

Next, collect evidence. Take photos of any property damage or injuries. Obtain a copy of the police report if the accident was investigated. Get contact information for any witnesses who saw the accident take place. Their accounts can help establish what happened. Write down all the details you recall while the incident is still fresh.

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney

Then, contact an experienced personal injury attorney. According to an experienced Escondido injury attorney, an estimated 19.4 million working-age Americans suffer accidental injuries each year that could potentially lead to a personal injury claim, so lawyers specialize in this field. Your personal injury lawyer will handle correspondence, negotiate with insurance companies, file paperwork, and protect your legal rights at each step.

Your Personal Injury Lawyer Will Conduct an Investigation

The personal injury attorney will launch an investigation into how the accident occurred and who should be held legally responsible. This may involve interviewing witnesses, consulting traffic experts or medical professionals, reviewing surveillance footage, and gathering pertinent records. The goal is to build a compelling argument that proves negligence or wrongdoing caused your injuries.

A Personal Injury Attorney Will Calculate the Damages

Next, the personal injury attorney will calculate the full value of your damages. This often includes both economic damages like medical bills and lost wages as well as non-economic damages like pain and suffering. On average, a personal injury claim is worth $31,000, but the exact value depends on the unique circumstances of your case.

Your Personal injury Lawyer Will Send a Demand Letter

The personal injury lawyer will then send a demand letter to the at-fault party, usually an insurance company. This letter will outline your damages, describe how the other party was negligent, and request a settlement to cover the claim’s value. The insurance company will likely counter with a lower offer. Your personal injury attorney can negotiate to reach the best possible settlement.

File a Personal Injury Lawsuit if Necessary

If a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiation, the next step is to file a personal injury lawsuit. Your personal injury attorney will draft a complaint alleging damages and how the defendant’s actions caused your injuries. Once it is filed with the court, the defendant has a limited time to respond, usually by denying fault.

Engage in Discovery

Now, the discovery phase begins. Your personal injury lawyer and the defense exchange relevant information through interrogatories, requests for the production of documents, and depositions. Medical records, police reports, expert opinions, and witness statements can be obtained. This evidence will help prove your case.

Your Personal Injury Lawyer Will Pursue Settlement or Trial

The vast majority of personal injury lawsuits, around 96%, settle out of court rather than going to trial. However, if a settlement still cannot be reached, your personal injury lawyer will take the case to trial and argue for compensation in front of a judge and jury. If successful, a judgment will be issued awarding damages.

Seek Legal Representation From a Personal Injury Attorney

Having an experienced personal injury lawyer to guide you through every step can make all the difference. The claims process takes time, but with legal representation, you can pursue the maximum compensation possible for your injuries.

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