Any person who sustains an injury in an accident outside their home or possibly caused by another person might have a legal claim on their hands. The process can be complex, and many people have questions about what steps they need to take. Having some idea of the general timeline of a claim like this might help you gauge when the process should wrap up.
Seeking Medical Attention
Getting medical help to treat your injuries should always be the first step in this process. Although it may seem like a separate issue at first, it is very much connected to your claim. The medical help you receive will go on record, and you will need these documents in order to make the case that the injuries are not your fault. Detailed records can show that the liable party should be responsible for the costs of your care.
Hiring Your Attorney
Once the crucial first step of getting medical help and advice to treat your wounds is done, you can move on to thinking about what kind of case you may have. To start this process, you should get the help of a qualified personal injury lawyer. This expert is responsible for investigating the possibility of a claim and reviewing your medical files. This review will tell the lawyer how much you should demand in compensation for your injuries. The attorney represents your best interests, and they will deal with insurance companies or look into settlements for you.
Filing a Claim
After speaking with your lawyer, it is time to file a claim. Should the party at fault not have insurance, your attorney will suggest sending a demand letter to advise that they should pay you compensation. In most cases, there is the threat of suing the liable entity if compensation is not paid out to you. If the party does have insurance, the policy can vary depending on how you were injured. After you file a claim, an adjuster will take a look at things. The investigation may include a segment where you are interviewed for your side of things.
Getting a Settlement
Once the adjuster completes an investigation and reviews all of the records, the typical next step is to settle. Most companies will make a tentative first offer. You should consult your attorney to find out if the deal is a fair shake for you. There are additional steps to take if you both decide that the offer does not meet your demands.
Although each situation is different, these are the main steps in a personal injury case. Your attorney can go over the basics with you in order to help you understand what you need to do. Depending on a variety of factors, there could be other parts involved in processing your claim. A discovery phase presenting evidence, a second opportunity to settle the case, or proceeding with a trial are all possibilities in a claim such as this.
Author information: Anica Oaks is a professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.