If you have suffered injuries due to an accident that happened through no fault of your own, you may be dealing with medical appointments, therapies, and more, in order to recover your health. You may also be going through some hard financial times. After talking to a personal injury lawyer, you may have decided to move forward with a personal injury claim. However, you are not sure as to what to expect. Read on to find out.
The Personal Injury Claim Process
After conducting investigations to back up your claim and putting together the necessary paperwork, your lawyer will start by filing a personal injury claim on your behalf. The clerk at the court where the claim will be filed will then accept the filing.
The party that has been identified in your claim will then be sent a letter of claim. In it, they will be informed as to what happened to you and the injuries you have suffered. They will have 21 days to respond and acknowledge receipt of the letter of claim. If they refuse to cover your claim, you can always hire an insurance claim attorney to get a fair settlement. Once this period is over, the defendant will have three months in which to further investigate the claim details.
Gather All Evidence
Should the defendant deny liability, you and your lawyer must gather all evidence and present it to the defendant. It is imperative for your lawyer to build the strongest case possible, making sure there are no discrepancies that will allow the defendant to poke holes into your case and decrease your chances of reaching a settlement; for more information, click on the given link.
Gather Medical Evidence
When the defendant acknowledges liability, things may move forward much more smoothly. Otherwise, medical evidence must be gathered. This can range from access to your primary doctor and hospital’s records to calling upon the opinion of an expert in the medical field.
Evidence as to how the injuries have impacted your daily life must also be gathered. This could be loss of wages, inability to move around because your car is damaged, cost of transportation to your needed appointments, and more. An additional amount to cover pain and suffering may also be added.
Negotiate a Settlement
When all parties involved in a claim want to achieve a fair and reasonable settlement as soon as possible, both parties and their lawyers can engage in a negotiation. This will have the added benefit of eliminating many hours of legal work and avoiding a trial. The lawyers may come to an agreement, and it will be up to you to decide to accept the amount offered.
Most personal injury cases end up being settled through negotiations and only a small percentage end up in court.
If a trial is necessary, it could last for days, weeks, or even months. During this time, the judge or jury will determine whether the defendant is at fault for the accident and responsible for the plaintiff’s losses. They will decide how much you should receive in damages if you win the case.
Injury lawyers Wattel and York want to remind you that it is common for either party to initiate an appeals process, and this can last several months or even several years. Once the appeals process has been exhausted, should the defendant lose, they would be required to pay the damages that were established at trial or during the appeal.