Did you know that if you have been injured in an accident, you are entitled to file a personal injury claim in order to receive compensation from the responsible party? If you have never filed a personal injury claim, the thought of doing so may be daunting. It is not the kind of process you want to go through without a strong advocate to guide you.
Step-by-Step, here is what to expect in the process of filing a personal injury claim and what comes after.
- Get a Medical Examination.
See a doctor for an examination regardless of whether you are in significant pain or not. Many personal injury victims do not immediately feel the physical consequences of the accident, and therefore, may not think it necessary to seek medical treatment. On the contrary; a medical exam can reveal internal issues, as well as injuries that may otherwise have a tendency to take an extended period of time to show up as physical pain. Some injuries can take months or even a year to show up.
Important: If you choose not to seek medical attention after an accident yet pursue compensation for your injuries, the insurance company representing the responsible party is able to use the fact that you did not see a medical professional after the accident as evidence that you may not be injured and in turn be entitled to compensation.
- Consult a Personal Injury Attorney.
You can receive a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney like the ones at the Richard Harris Law Firm who will assist you in determining your next steps, as well as what compensation you may be entitled to receiving. Depending upon the nature of the accident and severity of your injuries, as well as when the incident occured, an attorney can inform and guide you through the process.
- Your Personal Injury Attorney Assists You in Filing a Claim.
Once you have secured an attorney, they will inform all parties involved that you are filing a claim – both the responsible party, as well as their insurance company will be notified. In accidents resulting in minor injuries, settlements can sometimes be made quickly.
- Continued Medical Treatment and Record Keeping.
In receiving regular medical treatment to recover from your injuries, you must keep records of doctor visits and invoices along with detailed medical records. All information obtained about your accident and resulting injuries will be valuable when it comes to a personal injury claim. Be sure to obtain information about:
- What ongoing medical treatment you will require
- Collect payment statements for all treatment
- Get estimates on repair or replacement of personal property or vehicle
- Keep records of wages lost due to inability to work
- And any other details having to do with your accident, damages, and injuries
- Negotiations are Made in Order to Come to a Settlement Agreement.
Negotiations for compensation are made either directly to the responsible party or their insurance company. These can take place either before a lawsuit is filed or after. Ideally, each party will state what their settlement amount will be and after a likely series of negotiations, an offer will be agreed upon and a trial will not be necessary. If both parties cannot come to a settlement agreement, a lawsuit will be filed and the case will move to a trial process. There is a statute of limitations on filing personal injury lawsuits, so if it comes to that point, it is imperative to be aware of the time limit in order to have the opportunity to obtain compensation for your injuries.
What does the trial process look like in a personal injury lawsuit?
- A complaint is filed and includes your requested compensation amount.
- Litigation begins and each party in the lawsuit reports their information about the accident via a deposition which is recorded under oath.
- The case goes to trial and a judge or jury hears evidence from both sides and makes a decision on which is credible.
- If the jury or judge decides in favor of the injured party, they will decide what the final compensation will be.
The Richard Harris Law Firm has over four decades of experience representing the injured and getting the compensation they need and deserve. Our attorneys are available 24 hours a day / 7 days a week to guide and support you through the process. Contact us by phone at 702.374.0436 or visit our website: richardharrislaw.com