How to File a Personal Injury Claim
Sadly, accidents happen all the time. Many are those that are caused by the negligence of another person, such as in a car accident case where the at-fault driver was distracted. If you have been injured as a result, you will want to file a personal injury claim. Of course, it’s important to know how to go about doing that.
Consult with a Personal Injury Attorney
Even if you believe your case is straightforward, it’s important to consult with a few personal injury lawyers to ultimately hire one to represent you. While you might think you can save a few dollars and represent yourself, the best thing you can do is to hire a professional. Personal injury attorneys know everything about the law and can advise you on the best course of action to take in your case. You also have a much better chance of a favorable outcome with a lawyer on your side.
Another good reason to hire a personal injury attorney is that they work on a contingency fee basis. This means you don’t pay them unless you win your case.
See if Insurance Covers the Accident
In many instances, the at-fault party’s insurance policy may cover the damages in your personal injury claim. This is often the case in a situation involving a car accident or slip and fall injury claim. If the defendant has an auto insurance policy or liability coverage in the event of a slip and fall on their property. Of course, if insurance is in place to compensate you in your personal injury claim, your attorney should handle all communications with a representative from the insurance company.
However, there may be times when insurance isn’t enough to fully compensate you. It’s important to know that in that scenario, you may have to rely on your own insurance policy to cover the rest of the costs, such as if you were in a car accident and the at-fault driver is underinsured.
Decide Whether to File a Lawsuit
More often than not, personal injury claims reach a settlement before they ever get to trial. However, there are some exceptions where the at-fault party or their insurance company offer an unsatisfactory settlement amount or refuse to pay at all. If that occurs, your personal injury attorney can persuade you to file a lawsuit to get the compensation you deserve.
Your personal injury attorney can start by filing a lawsuit against the individual or their insurance company. However, if that fails, the best option is to file a complaint in the local branch of your state’s civil court. In that situation, you will have to be mindful of the statute of limitations for filing. In most states, you have two years from the date of the injury to file your lawsuit with the court. This is another reason why having a personal injury lawyer is so crucial.
These tips show you how to file a personal injury claim. Always do your homework so you can follow the proper procedures and get the best possible outcome in your case.