What is a Personal Injury Claim, and How to File One?
Every second an American is accidentally injured. When accidents occur, they leave you frightened and confused. Unfortunately, the impact of these accidents can also affect your quality of life forever.
Severe accidents can affect your ability to handle even basic activities, which can cost you your job. If another person's negligence has caused your injuries, you may have a case and can file a personal injury claim. Understanding what a personal injury claim is and how to file one will help build a strong foundation so that you can receive compensation for your injuries.
What Is a Personal Injury Claim?
A personal injury claim is a legal case you can open if you have been injured or sustained damages due to another person's negligence. You have the right to file a personal injury claim if you have been injured in an accident that was not your fault and caused you financial hardship, pain and suffering, or other damages. Some of these damages could include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Mental anguish
A personal injury claim aims at recovering compensation from the at-fault party, which is awarded from the at-fault party's insurance company. However, in order to recover compensation, negligence must be proven. Therefore, if it can be shown that the accused party breached a duty of care to not endanger you, then negligence has been proven.
How to File a Personal Injury Claim
Personal injury cases vary depending on the type and extent of injuries sustained. Not all personal injury claims will get to the last stage of case settlement, especially if solved outside court. But to make the process quite easier, here are steps to follow when filing a claim:
1. Obtain Medical Care
After being involved in an accident, you should seek immediate medical treatment. This is because some injuries might not show symptoms immediately, but afterward, they might become life-threatening.
Getting immediate medical attention prevents the worst from happening. Also, the medical records attained serve as evidence with the jury and insurance adjuster.
After getting the right medical records, you should document all the injuries and damages incurred. You should also collect evidence on the cause of the accident. Finally, you must also have evidence of how the injuries have impacted your quality of life.
2. Consider a Legal Consultation
It's possible to settle personal injury claims without legal representation. But you might not get the compensation you deserve. Without legal representation, insurance companies will take advantage and pressure you to accept a minimized settlement.
With the representation of a personal injury lawyer determining the worth of your claim becomes easy. The lawyers use their years of experience to determine the right compensation value for your types of injuries.
If you decide to follow up with the personal injury claim, you must inform all the involved parties of your intent to file a lawsuit. You can have this notice delivered to the parties by a professional process server or an enforcement officer.
3. Establish Negligence
After hiring a personal injury lawyer, they will start by getting your side of the story regarding the cause of the accident. They will then gather all the medical records to determine the extent of your injuries and the costs involved. Personal injury lawyers can also involve accident reconstruction experts to build a strong case in your favor.
Negligence arises when a person fails to use reasonable care, causing harm to others. Establishing negligence involves determining the act of unreasonable care that caused the harm. On your own, proving negligence can be an uphill task.
But with the help of experienced lawyers and other experts, it becomes easy to navigate this process. Personal injury lawyers have the experience and expertise to prove the four elements of negligence: duty, breach, causation, and harm.
4. Begin Negotiations
Before the case goes to court, your attorney can make a compensation demand to the defendant's attorney or insurance company. Then, your attorney and those of the defendant will try to negotiate a settlement suitable to both parties.
When an agreement is reached, the settlement process ends at this stage. But if a settlement cannot be reached, mediation follows. Mediation will take place with the negotiations being directed by a mediator. The mediator will try to assist both parties in finding a solution that satisfies both sides. If a settlement is still not reached, then the case will go to a trial.
Our Law Firm Can Help File Your Personal Injury Claim
A personal injury claim is a legal case filed by an injured person against the person who caused the injuries. The goal of the claim is to recover damages for the injuries suffered. But for your claim to be successful, you need to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Are you looking for an experienced personal injury lawyer in Fresno, CA? Look no further than the Central Valley Accident Lawyers. We have a team of dedicated and knowledgeable lawyers ready to handle your case.
Contact us today for a free case assessment.