An unexpected injury takes a toll on every aspect of your life, and it can cause a lot of stress when the medical bills start to pile up. If your quality of life has been impacted by the actions of another person, then you might consider filing a personal injury claim to get the support and compensation that you need.
Unfortunately, the path to compensation through the legal process for personal injury claims can be quite complex, making it hard for a person to navigate this process without professional support. Instead of trying to handle a personal injury claim on your own, a better solution is to find an experienced personal injury claim lawyer who can help.
Keep in mind that every situation is unique, so there isn’t a cookie-cutter solution. It’s essential to look at the circumstances, timeline of the case, severity of the injuries, and the many ways your life has been impacted by the injury.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you see the process that will happen when you decide to go through the personal injury claim process:
Step #1: Medical Care
When an injury happens, such as in the case of a car accident personal injury claim, the first order of business is to go to the hospital or a doctor for immediate medical treatment. It might involve a visit to the emergency room or scheduling a short-notice appointment in a local healthcare clinic.
An examination is important to determine the extent of your injuries and also determine the ideal treatment plan. Additionally, these medical records are essential for building a solid case for your personal injury claim.
Step #2: Talk to a Lawyer
There’s no reason to delay a legal consultation. While there is a possibility of settling a personal injury claim process without legal representation, the potential outcome won’t be as favorable if you are attempting a DIY approach.
A personal injury claim lawyer understands the best strategies for building a solid case. As a result, there is a better chance of getting a larger payout when you are working with an experienced attorney.
Don’t hesitate to talk to a personal injury claim lawyer about your situation, especially since the initial consultation is usually free. You can have a discussion to learn more about potential legal services. Having an attorney by your side from the beginning is an invaluable resource to help you successfully navigate the personal injury claim process.
Step #3: Documentation and Investigation
The more documentation, the better the possibility of a good outcome for your case. Be proactive about recording as much as possible about related details, including damages, injuries, medical treatments, diagnostics, medical bills, and more.
Your goal is to collect evidence relating to the case and show how the accident has impacted your life. Anything that is noteworthy should be included in the documentation, even if it seems small.
Additionally, your attorney will collect information from other people who might have been involved or witnessed the situation. Not only will the attorney learn as much as possible about the accident and injuries, but they might also choose to work with other specialists and experts who can help with building the case.
Step #4: Determining Negligence
You don’t have a personal injury case if you can’t show negligence as the result of another person’s actions. Most of the time, a personal injury claim centers on the responsibility of another individual or entity for the injuries that resulted.
Proving negligence can be challenging, which is why the documentation and investigation step is critical. As an inexperienced individual, you might not be able to establish negligence on your own. But an attorney can help with this step to ensure that you have a solid case that will hold up in court.
Step #5: Serving Notice
When you decide to move forward with a personal injury claim, you are required to send a notification to all involved parties that you are intending to file a suit. This step is called the “service of process.”
In most situations, serving notice happens through a law enforcement officer, a court official, or a process server.
Step #6: Consider Settlement
Just because you are going through the legal process for personal injury claims, doesn’t mean that you will end up in court. Ideally, the case can be settled out of court. This settlement can save money on legal fees and allow everyone to find a win-win situation for the compensation agreement.
For example, your personal injury claim lawyer will reach out to the defendant’s attorney in an attempt to negotiate the situation. The goal is to find a settlement that is acceptable for everyone involved.
Most of the time, the personal injury claim process can be settled at this point, which means you won’t need to go to court. But there are situations where a settlement can’t be reached, and it’s necessary to proceed with the rest of the personal injury claim process.
Step #7: Filing a Lawsuit
When a settlement can’t be reached, your personal injury claim lawyer might recommend that it is time to file a lawsuit. The paperwork is filed in court, and the discovery phase begins. Both parties will start their investigation into the documentation and claims provided by the other party.
There will be requests for information that must be addressed in a timely manner. Always respond as thoroughly and truthfully as possible. This discovery phase can be complicated and drawn out, which means that it can last up to a year in some situations.
Step #8: Try Mediation
After the discovery phase, there is a 2nd opportunity to try to settle the case outside of court. At this point, it might be recommended to try mediation. This process involves a third-party mediator who oversees a meeting between the plaintiff and the defendant.
Through mediation, it’s possible to achieve a resolution that satisfies both parties. But if this agreement can’t be made, then the personal injury claim will continue in the court process and advance to a trial.
Hire an Attorney for Your Personal Injury Claim
You don’t need to navigate the complicated court processes without the support of a personal injury claim lawyer. Our team at Gainsburgh, Benjamin, David, Meunier & Warshauer, L.L.C. can help with building your case and ensuring you receive the compensation that you deserve. For more information, call us to schedule a free consultation: (504) 522-2304.