An accident can turn your life upside down in an instant. Besides the impact on your physical wellbeing, there are also numerous financial implications that you have to consider, such as lost wages and medical bills. The impact on your social and emotional life can also be severe. This is why it’s vital to establish who’s responsible for your accident. The liable party is obligated to provide compensation for your tangible and intangible losses. To compel them to take responsibility, you’ll have to file a personal injury claim.
Read on to discover seven crucial things you need to know about filing a personal injury claim.
1. Personal Injury is an Extensive Area
Some people don’t know whether they should or shouldn’t file a personal injury claim after an accident, so it’s important to understand what this term includes. Many believe that they can file a personal injury claim only in case of a car accident, or when getting injured in the workplace. However, there are other types of accidents where there’s clearly a liable party that must be held accountable.
When a business or local authority responsible for implementing safety regulations neglects its duty, and a person gets hurt as a result, the person can file a personal injury claim. So, personal injury cases can refer to wrongful death, falls due to slippery floors or poor lighting, dog bites, medical malpractice, and even defamation.
2. Insurance Companies Play an Important Role
Insurance providers play a major role in personal injury cases because they represent the liable entity. Since their goal is to protect the interests of the business, company, or authority they represent, their settlement offer will not be very inclusive. They will likely try to pay you the minimum legal amount and settle the case outside the court as quickly as possible. It’s important to be aware that insurance companies don’t have your best interests at heart.
If you receive a settlement offer, don’t rush to accept it. You need to make sure that any offer you get includes all compensable losses and that the money will last you until your life returns to normal. If you settle for a low payment that only includes your immediate expenses, you won’t be able to get any additional compensation. Are there any chances that your expenses associated with the accident will continue to accrue? Then your compensation must extend to these future expenses too.
3. Legal Representation Matters
When your injuries don’t allow you to return to work, or you’re facing substantial medical costs, finances become a real concern. For many people, getting compensation is the only way to fight the financial adversities that arise in the aftermath of an accident.
There’s a lot at skate when negotiating your settlement, so it’s vital to find the right lawyer that can stand by your side and ensure you get the amount of money you need and deserve. Choose a personal injury attorney with experience in handling cases similar to yours, so you can increase your chances of getting a reasonable deal.
4. You Need Patience
Settling a personal injury claim is likely to be a lengthy process that will involve a lot of tedious paperwork. If you’re not represented by a lawyer, the liable entity or the insurance provider might try to convince you that your demands are unreasonable. As a person unfamiliar with all the intricacies of the law, you are vulnerable.
It can be a huge relief to have a reliable attorney take care of all bureaucratic and legal aspects for you, so you can focus on your medical needs and the recovery process. A reputable attorney can significantly speed up the negotiation process and simplify matters. In any case, patience is key since the negotiation process can be a challenging affair.
5. The Compensation Can Vary
The main reason for filing a personal injury claim is to force the entity responsible for your injury to pay for all the costs that you incur because of the accident. Many people wrongly assume that the compensation refers to medical bills only. However, a person suffers many compensable losses in case of an accident.
Although this differs from one case to another, the compensation must generally cover all past and future medical costs, all treatment, rehabilitation, and care costs, lost wages, or damaged property. Depending on the nature of your injury, you can also claim compensation for emotional distress. Contacting an attorney specialized in personal injury is the only way to ensure you add all relevant demands when filing your claim.
6. You Can Avoid the Court
Naturally, after an accident, your physical wellbeing is your main priority. If you require extensive treatment and care, the idea of going to trial in these conditions will seem daunting, especially since trials last weeks or months. Fortunately, it’s possible to settle a case outside the court. But you still need a good attorney that can get you a fair deal.
If the insurance provider is cooperative, you can get a fair amount of money without a trial. But maybe the insurance provider believes your claim is not strong enough to stand in court and doesn’t agree to your deal. In this case, if your lawyer tells you that you have a strong case, going to court is the only option.
7. Documented Evidence is Vital
To obtain the compensation you deserve for an injury caused by negligence on the part of a business, local authority, or person, you have to provide evidence to support your claim. The more evidence you collect, the stronger your case.
Gather all your medical records, photos of your injuries, photos of the accident if any, law enforcement reports, and even the contact information of the witnesses. Your lawyer can inform you of all the types of documents that may be required for settling the case in your favor. In some cases, medical reports are the only evidence you need.
If you were injured due to the negligence of another party, you deserve to be compensated for all the financial, physical, emotional discomfort you’re going through. Don’t hesitate to ask for justice. Find a reliable attorney that can help you protect your rights.