Many people find themselves in an unfortunate accident, which leads to severe injuries with no idea how the claims process goes or even where to start. People generally do not know how long the process will take and when they’ll receive their deserved settlement. When you visit a lawyer after your injury, he or she will advise you to file an injury claim.
An injury lawsuit is typically a civil action with criminal implications associated with your injury. Here are a few general steps you can expect your injury lawsuit to follow, whether the damage is due to a slip and fall, someone else’s negligence, or a car accident.
Consult an Attorney
You should do one of the immediate things when you have suffered a severe injury, whether it’s soft tissue damage, broken bones, or head injuries, consult a law firm like Lamber Goodnow injury lawyers Tucson. Having a legal professional from the beginning will help you navigate the claims process and a better idea of what compensation you can expect. You would need to discuss a few things with your attorney to ensure they represent you to the fullest.
Your attorney will need to know details of the accident, from the cause, whether you have made any statements to anyone after the accident, like the police. A lawyer will then do further investigation to build your case. The accident may result from many factors, like negligent drinking and driving or auto mechanical fault. A reasonable attorney will take all your medical bills into account when negotiating settlements, from injuries incurred in the accident to any lifelong medical requirements for the rest of your life.
Apart from medical needs, the accident may result in disability or physical restrictions. In many cases, this limitation can harm your ability to do your job. All of these details provide your lawyer with the necessary information to negotiate for the best settlement to cover all your needs and losses for a lifetime due to the accident.
Investigating the Accident
As mentioned, several factors may have contributed to the accident, and the next stage is the lawyer’s further investigation. Your initial statement you gave to your lawyer proves a great starting point; however, there’s more to the story, apart from your point of view. Getting more information from another point of view could help your case in many ways.
The sooner your attorney obtains statements from witnesses or getting security footage will not only support your information but provide a clear record of what transpired before and during the accident. Video footage also gives undeniable evidence, and no parties can lie about any facts of the accident.
Issuing a Claim for Compensation
Before issuing a compensation claim, your attorney would collect all relevant statements from you, possible witnesses, and gather evidence. He or she will then go-ahead to file a claim form compensation directly to the responsible insurance companies. Cases like a car accident claim generally have one responsible party, meaning you can only make a single claim. However, a case with multiple factors and causes of an accident may be complex with numerous lawsuits. When lodging claims with all responsible insurance companies or individuals, your attorney will need to provide substantial evidence of injuries incurred in the accident and how they affect your life and finances.
After filing a compensation claim, insurance companies are generally quick to respond with a settlement offer, and sometimes the settlement offer comes before you’ve even had a chance to consult with a lawyer. Even if this is the case, it is always best to take the settlement offer to your attorney for review. For many reasons, your attorney may advise you to counter the proposal presented by the insurance company.
The settlement needs to compare with your medical expenses and injuries incurred thoroughly, and chances are the offer doesn’t. Another thing to keep in mind, when you approach the insurance with proper legal representation, the settlement offer should increase significantly. As you attempt to reach a reasonable agreement, negotiations may go back and forth several times. You do not want to leave the table under-compensated in case of unforeseen complications down the years.
Your Claim Goes to Court
Taking your case to court is usually the last resort, which may result from not reaching an agreement with an insurance company. When a court case is opened, both parties are granted enough time to gather more information about the claim dispute and accident. Your lawyer may be aggressive in obtaining more information about the company from the video footage if available and revisit witnesses. Mediation is a phase during this process where both parties are given an opportunity to reach an agreement, and if at this point there is no resolution, the case proceeds to trial.