When you're injured due to the negligence of another party, such as a slipping and falling at a grocery store due to hazardous floors or being bitten by someone's dog who was not properly secured, you're entitled to a monetary settlement. However, most people have little to no experience with personal injury cases, so they don't know what to do or what to expect. Having a basic understanding of the timeline of a personal injury claim can help make the process less confusing and overwhelming. Continue reading to learn more about the steps involved in settling a personal injury claim:
Seek Medical Care
After you have been injured, it is essential to seek medical care. You will have a very weak case if you don't seek medical care and just try to proclaim that you have been injured. Medical care is very important to your recovery, and your medical records will also serve as evidence in your case. Make sure that you go to every follow-up appointment and do exactly what your doctor recommends.
Hire an Experienced Lawyer
If you are dealing with a personal injury claim, the very best thing that you can do is hire an experienced personal injury lawyer. Having a lawyer represent you greatly increases the likelihood of receiving a fair settlement. Ideally, you should hire a lawyer as soon as possible after your injury. One great thing about personal injury lawyers is the fact that they typically work on contingency, so you will not have to pay any money out of your own pocket for your lawyer's legal services.
Building a Case
After you hire a personal injury lawyer, he or she will begin building your case. This will involve gathering evidence, such as your medical records, any police reports that may be available, and testimony from those who witnessed the cause of your injury. Your lawyer will assess your case and the evidence and then determine the value of the settlement that you are entitled to.
In the majority of personal injury cases, a lawyer will be communicating with a person's or company's insurance company, since most injury claims are handled by insurance. Your lawyer will present your case and then negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf. You can count on your lawyer to protect your best interests and turn down settlement offers that are too low. Most personal injury claims are settled during the negotiation period, but those that are not may go to court.
A personal injury case may seem intimidating, so feel free to ask your lawyer for details regarding the process if you have any questions.