Personal injury claims are very complex. Not only does the claimant need to prove that their injuries were caused by someone else’s wrongdoing, but they may also have to prove that the defendant had a responsibility to avoid causing those damages. So, here is some advice from experts.
1. Always hire a personal injury lawyer
Some states don’t require personal injury plaintiffs to hire a lawyer. In these states, it is possible for defendants to settle with the plaintiff through their insurance company. However, most of these settlements will not be fair, or even comparable to what your injuries are worth. Many attorneys provide a free initial case review where you can get a better idea of how much your claim may be worth and what you can expect from pursuing your claim in court. Hiring a personal injury lawyer is the single best thing you can do to ensure that your claim will be handled correctly and in a timely manner. They will help you navigate the complex legal system and be there for you in your time of need.
2. Gather evidence
It is important to gather evidence as early as possible because they disappear over time. Any documents that prove the defendant’s responsibility for your injuries (such as a police report or medical records) should be obtained immediately. A recording of any conversations with witnesses or the defendant about how the accident happened should also be taken before memories fade. Photographs of anything relating to your injuries are always helpful, especially if you’re planning on filing an insurance claim for pain and suffering. If there was surveillance footage available from nearby cameras at any time during the incident, then they need to be collected. Also, try to obtain contact information for any witnesses who may have seen what happened. It is best to have all the evidence in one place when you meet with your attorney.
3. Get medical help and add medical files to your documents
It is important to seek medical help and obtain the relevant documentation as soon as possible after your injuries. This will be vital in proving how you were injured, and what treatment was necessary. And while you may feel fine at first, it will only get harder to prove the link between your emotional trauma and the accident over time. In addition to getting a general doctor involved early on, it’s also helpful to obtain a psychological analysis from a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist who specializes in PTSD. Such an analysis may provide additional evidence that can help win your case. You should add all of this documentation to your list of documents, which will make it easy for your attorney to access when they start working on your claim.
4. File a claim with the responsible party’s insurance
In some cases, you may be able to resolve your personal injury claim without going through the legal system. In fact, many people will simply deal with their own insurance companies or those of the defendants. Insurance adjusters are trained to settle claims for as little as possible. However, if they try to offer a settlement that is too low, then you can always reject it and move on to court — which makes hiring an attorney even more important. Filing claims is a complex task that requires a lot of documentation. And the insurance company is going to try their best to give you as little as possible, so having a personal injury attorney on your side will significantly help this process.
5. Don’t sign anything without your lawyer’s approval
It is very important that you do not sign any documents related to your personal injury case without your lawyer’s consent. This includes settlement agreements, medical authorizations, or anything else that may be compromising. Insurance companies often try to get injured people to sign away their rights by offering a quick and easy settlement. However, these settlements are usually much lower than what the victim is actually owed. As such, it is crucial to have an experienced lawyer who can help you get the most out of your claim. They will be able to review any offers made by the insurance company and make sure that you’re getting a fair deal.
6. Be patient
Cases can take a long time to resolve, especially if the insurance company is being difficult. And this is exacerbated by how many people are trying to file personal injury claims these days. So it’s important that you remain patient and keep all of your documents together while you wait for your attorney to reach a solution. Many people become frustrated because they feel like they’re not getting anywhere with their claim, which only makes it harder for them to be proactive in moving forward.
Personal injury cases can be complex, and often require the expertise of a legal professional. By following the advice in this article, you can make the process easier on yourself and improve your chances of success. Remember to be patient, gather all the necessary documents, and contact an attorney if you need help.