What is the Personal Injury Claim Process?

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If you were hurt in an accident that was caused by the negligence of someone else, then you have the right to start a personal injury case. The personal injury claim process can seem confusing and obscure to the average person but it is relatively straightforward. It is also necessary if you want to get the compensation needed to take care of any expenses caused by the accident. Fortunately you do not have to embark on this journey alone because the first step of the process should be getting a personal injury attorney to help you.

An attorney will be used to filing personal injury lawsuits and will be your guide and representative every step of the way. There are several other steps in the personal injury claim process but if you start it off on the right foot by hiring an experienced attorney, then you will have a much greater chance of success.

Get an Attorney

It is worth stating again that the first and most important step of the process is hiring an experienced personal injury attorney. That is because a personal injury attorney can increase your settlement amount and decrease your stress level since they will be doing all of the legal heavy lifting. The hiring of a personal injury attorney is a risk-free proposition because they offer free consultations and they tend to work on a contingency basis, meaning that they do not get paid unless the case is successful. Since they offer so many benefits, it is vital that you get in touch with an attorney as the first step in the personal injury claim process.

Evidence Gathering

Once you have retained an attorney, they will set about to gathering evidence to prove your case. They will get witness testimony, collect police records, and find any surveillance footage of the accident if it exists. They will also collect your medical bills, repair bills, and any other tangible expenses caused by the accident in order to determine how big your settlement should be.

The Demand Letter

All of the evidence and the record of your expenses are put in a package called a demand letter that is sent to the insurance company of the party responsible for causing the personal injury. The insurance company can choose to accept the settlement request, negotiate the amount in the request, or reject it. If they choose the first option, then the process ends here; if the amount they propose is too low or if they deny your claim, then you will continue to the next step.

Filing a Lawsuit

If the case is not resolved in the previous step, then you and your attorney will have to file a lawsuit against the insurance company of the party responsible for your personal injury. After the lawsuit has been filed, the discovery phase of the process begins. This is when the attorneys on each side review the evidence their opposite number has gathered in order to formulate a robust defense.

Mediation

In the mediation stage of the process, both parties attempt to resolve the case with the help of a neutral third party called a mediator. This is done to avoid having to take the case to trial because a trial can be expensive, time-consuming, and unpredictable. That means it is in everyone’s best interest to settle the case before a trial becomes necessary.

The Trial

If the case cannot be settled in mediation, then it will head to a trial to be resolved. However, most personal injury cases rarely make it this far and are settled much earlier. So a trial is essentially a worst case scenario, but one that is highly unlikely to happen.

A Lawyer Can Help You With The Personal Injury Claim Process

The personal injury claim process can be lengthy and enervating but an experienced attorney can help to speed it up and give you a better chance that the outcome will be in your favor. That means you stand a better chance of getting the compensation you need with an experienced personal injury attorney by your side every step of the way. So make sure that one of the first things you do after suffering a personal injury is call an attorney. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by doing so.