How to Claim Injury in an Accident?
Accidents that result from another person’s negligence can lead to severe injuries and other consequences. If you suffered injuries in an accident that was someone else’s fault, you might have to miss time from work, endure lengthy pain and suffering, and refrain from partaking in activities you once enjoyed.
Many accident victims are unsure of where to turn next or what to do. Fortunately, an experienced personal injury lawyer in your area can help maximize the monetary compensation you recover in your case.
In addition to meeting with you and investigating your accident circumstances, your lawyer can file a personal injury claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company on your behalf. Your lawyer can also negotiate the claim, and if favorable settlement compensation is not forthcoming, file a personal injury lawsuit in court.
Your lawyer will do everything to help you maximize your monetary recovery and pursue the total amount of damages you deserve for your accident-related injuries.
In most instances, negligence is the basis for a personal injury claim or lawsuit. Individuals or entities behave negligently when they deviate from the prevailing standard of care and act unreasonably under the circumstances. For example, a car or truck driver behaves negligently when they engage in distracted driving, fail to follow the rules of the road, or drives while intoxicated.
If you suffered injuries in an accident that resulted from another person’s negligence, a skilled personal injury lawyer in your area can help you file the appropriate claim or lawsuit to recover the monetary damages you deserve.
Types of Occurrences that Lead to Personal Injury Claims and Lawsuits
When an individual or entity behaves negligently, they may cause an accident, leading to various injuries.
Accident victims can file a personal injury claim or lawsuit based on:
Motor vehicle accident claims where a driver violates a rule of the road, and a traffic accident involving another car, truck, motorcycle, bicycle, or pedestrian happens.
Premises accident claims, where a property owner fails to maintain their property in a reasonably safe condition for the benefit of property visitors, causing an accident and injuries
If you suffered injuries in an accident that was someone else’s fault, your lawyer can meet with you to discuss the accident circumstances and your injuries. Your lawyer can then determine if you can file a personal injury claim or lawsuit seeking damages. If so, your lawyer can assist you during the claims-filing process and, if necessary, litigate your case in court.
Injuries That Accident Victims May Suffer
There is no disputing that victims of serious accidents may sustain severe and debilitating injuries. An accident victim’s injuries often depend upon various factors, including the type of accident and the degree of force involved.
Some of the most common injuries that accident victims suffer include traumatic head and brain damage, including concussions, as well as fractures and broken bones. Victims of car accidents and other serious collisions may suffer soft tissue neck and back contusions and different muscular strains. Accident victims may also sustain eye injuries, spinal cord injuries, and full or partial paralysis. Finally, they may suffer cuts, abrasions, scarring, and internal organ damage due to their accident.
As soon as possible after an accident, you should seek prompt medical treatment at an urgent care facility or hospital emergency room in your area. Even if you are unsure about the severity of your injuries, you should still seek this initial treatment. That is because even seemingly minor injuries can worsen as time goes on especially if those injuries go untreated. Moreover, suppose you later need to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit for damages. In that case, the insurance company may become skeptical if you waited too long after your accident to seek treatment.
The medical provider can order the necessary imaging studies at an emergency medical facility, including CAT scans, X-rays, and MRIs, and render an accurate medical diagnosis. Moreover, the provider can recommend follow-up treatment in the event your symptoms become worse.
While you focus your attention on seeking the medical treatment you need, an experienced personal injury lawyer can start advocating for you right away. While you finish your medical treatment, your lawyer can begin gathering your medical documents, lost wage statements, earning statements, photographs of your injuries, and photographs of property damage.
Once you finish your treatment, your lawyer can assemble these documents into a settlement demand package and send them to the insurance company adjuster for their consideration. Then, your lawyer may begin settlement negotiations on your behalf and pursue the fair damages that you deserve for your injuries.
The Burden of Proof in a Personal Injury Claim
In every personal injury claim or lawsuit, the accident victim carries the sole legal burden of proof. Consequently, the victim must demonstrate that the at-fault person or entity violated their legal duty of care, causing the accident. The victim must also show that they suffered at least one injury in their accident and that their injuries directly resulted from the accident.
To establish the necessary legal burden of proof in a personal injury case, the accident victim may need to retain several experts to testify in support of their claim. First, the accident victim can retain an accident reconstructionist who can visit the accident scene, speak with eyewitnesses, review police reports, and determine precisely how the accident occurred. Accident reconstructionists are often necessary in personal injury cases where the insurance company disputes fault or liability for the subject accident.
In addition to an accident reconstructionist, the accident victim may need to retain a medical expert who can causally connect their injuries to the occurrence. A medical provider can testify at a discovery deposition or on the witness stand in court that the accident was at least one cause of the accident victim’s injuries.
The expert can also establish, to a reasonable degree of medical probability, that the accident victim’s injuries are permanent. A permanent injury is likely to last for a lifetime and cause the accident victim to experience ongoing pain and other symptoms.
A knowledgeable personal injury lawyer in your area can be an invaluable help when it comes to proving the legal elements of your claim and recovering the monetary damages you deserve. Your lawyer can help you retain the necessary experts to prove your case and work to maximize the compensation you receive from the at-fault party’s insurance company.
Deadline to File a Personal Injury Claim or Lawsuit
Retaining a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer to represent you as soon as possible is the single most crucial step you can take in your case. This is because accident victims have a brief window of time to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit for damages.
The statute of limitations time clock begins to run on the accident date and continues for two years after the accident date. If the accident victim files their claim or lawsuit even one day after the deadline expires, they will no longer be eligible to recover monetary damages for their injuries.
In light of this brief statutory period, your lawyer can file a lawsuit right away in your case especially if the statute of limitations period is running short. After filing a lawsuit, your lawyer can start negotiating a settlement or pursuing litigation in the court system on your behalf.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim for Damages
If you are eligible, a personal injury attorney in your area can file a claim on your behalf usually with the insurance company for the at-fault person or entity.
The claims-filing process begins when your lawyer prepares a settlement demand letter, along with a settlement demand package, and submits it to the insurance company adjuster handling your case.
The demand package will usually include:
Copies of all related medical records and bills
Lost wage documentation from your employer, including recent earnings statements
Photographs of the incident scene
Photographs of your injuries
Pictures of property damage, if your accident involved motor vehicles
A personal statement that you prepare explaining the overall effect the accident had on your life and well-being
The insurance company adjuster will then review all of these documents and decide whether to accept fault for the accident. If the adjuster accepts fault, they might make an initial settlement offer to resolve your claim.
Since most initial settlement offers are meager, your lawyer will need to negotiate with the adjuster and try to convince them to offer more. If that does not happen, your lawyer can always file a lawsuit in the court system on your behalf, seeking the damages you deserve.
While your case may still settle at any time, litigation gets your case moving in the court system. If the case remains unresolved once litigation discovery is complete, the case will likely go to a jury trial, where a jury will decide the case outcome.
Recovering the Damages You Deserve for Your Personal Injuries
Injury victims are often eligible to recover various types of monetary compensation in the form of damages. The purpose of monetary damages in a personal injury case is to make an accident victim whole again, to the greatest extent possible.
The damages that an accident victim recovers will depend upon certain factors, including the type of accident that occurred, the force of the accident, the injuries suffered, the medical treatment that the accident victim underwent, and the extent of their pain and suffering.
Some of the most common damages that an accident victim may recover in their personal injury claim or lawsuit include:
Compensation for all related medical bills and expenses
Lost wages, for the amount of money the accident victim lost from being unable to work
Loss of earning capacity, if the accident victim had to switch to a lower-paying job due to their injuries
Past and future pain, suffering, and inconvenience
Mental distress and emotional anguish if the accident victim had to seek the care of a psychologist or psychiatrist due to trauma associated with their accident and injuries.
Loss of life enjoyment
Loss of the ability to use a body part, such as when the accident victim suffers a permanent injury or medical complication
Loss of spousal companionship and consortium
A knowledgeable personal injury attorney in your area can advocate for you and will do everything possible to help you maximize the damages you receive in your personal injury case.
Call an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer About Your Legal Matter Today
Having skilled legal representation in your personal injury claim or a lawsuit is extremely important. In fact, if you do not have a knowledgeable lawyer representing you throughout your case, the at-fault party’s insurance company will likely take advantage of you and offer you far less compensation than your case is worth.
In addition to investigating your accident circumstances, your lawyer can negotiate favorable settlement compensation on your behalf and assist you throughout the litigation process. Finally, your lawyer can represent you in all legal proceedings, including a possible jury trial, and pursue the fullest possible monetary damages on your behalf.
With the right legal assistance, you can obtain financial support for your future. This can help with your overall recovery, even if you continue to feel the physical effects of your injuries.