Personal injury includes many different areas, including car and truck collisions, medical malpractice, slip & fall, and defective products. No matter what type of personal injury you experienced, you can file a personal injury claim to receive compensation for injuries and damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. But how do you file a personal injury claim?
Seek Medical Attention
If you are injured, you should still seek medical attention. It sounds obvious but many people don’t realize they may be injured, or how serious of an injury they may have, after an accident. Many injuries can be masked by adrenaline and normal feelings of stress immediately after an accident. Visit the emergency room, urgent care, or your primary care physician for an exam to make sure you are healthy and have not suffered any serious injuries. It’s always good to keep any records from your treatment as well.
Insurance companies rarely accept full responsibility on behalf of their negligent insured. Therefore, to file a claim, it is important to have documentation and evidence to substantiate your claim. Documentation includes the following:
- Medical records from the treatment you received
- Photos of your damaged vehicle or personal property
- Photogs of your injuries, including bruising, swelling, cuts, etc.
- Documentation of your lost income
- Medical bills incurred for your treatment
Will Insurance Cover The Accident
The first step is to determine if the negligent party has insurance that will provide coverage for the accident and your injuries and damages. If it was a car accident, their car insurance should provide coverage. In addition, your car insurance may provide more insurance coverage. If the injury was caused by a damaged or poorly maintained property, the property owner should have property insurance, homeowner’s insurance, or commercial liability insurance.
This step allows you to see if you would be able to recoup any damages before going through the personal injury claim and lawsuit process. Also, see if your insurance will cover any damage or injuries you sustained.
Hire A Personal Injury Trial Attorney
Personal injury claims can be difficult to handle without qualified legal counsel with experience in handling personal injury jury trials. You would have to talk to insurance companies on your own that are trained to reject claims for a variety of insufficient reasons. Schedule a consultation with a personal injury trial lawyer to discuss your potential case so you can better understand your rights under the law.
Begin Your Investigation
Your attorney will assist with investigating the accident, your injuries, and the damage you sustained. They may bring in experts to build your case.
Personal injury cases are typically caused by negligence or the failure to exercise ordinary care. Specifically, there are four elements that need to be proven in your claim:
- The Duty of Care
You must establish how the other party or parties involved owed you legal responsibility to act ordinary care and avoid causing injury to others.
- Breach of the Duty of Care
After establishing the party’s duty of care, you must then prove how the person did not uphold their responsibility and acted with negligence.
Your claim must be able to prove that the incident was the cause of your injuries and damages.
You need to present all of the information regarding the collision or incident and all of the documentation of your injuries and damages, including your medical records and bills and information as to how the injuries affect you and your life.
In personal injury cases, once a lawsuit is filed, you must serve the negligent party with the lawsuit. This is normally handled by law enforcement, such as a deputy sheriff or marshal. This is referred to as service of process.
Settlement Or Go To A Jury Trial
A personal injury case is concluded by reaching a resolution or settlement or by a jury trial. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, only 4 to 5% of personal injury cases go to trial. However, hiring an attorney who has experience handling personal injury jury trials reduces the chance that your case will have to go to a jury trial and results in a more significant settlement.
Having a personal injury trial attorney on your side while navigating the aftermath of a personal injury and filing a claim can be extremely beneficial. Our attorneys at Hasty Pope Davies are here to help you navigate the difficult path of handling a personal injury claim. This includes helping you get the best medical care available and dealing with the insurance company for you so you can focus on your recovery. This all results in getting you the maximum compensation you deserve. Schedule a consultation with us today to discuss your potential case.