Nobody starts the day planning to get involved in an accident. Unfortunately, hundreds of people are involved in accidents that result in injuries every day.
While most injuries are minor, some can be complex and life-altering. If injuries result from the negligent actions of another person, the injured person has a legal right to file for compensation.
If you have suffered injuries in the recent past, you may be wondering how to go about the compensation recovery process. But worry not, as this post offers a guide into everything you need to know about the process.
The Process Can Be Complicated
A personal injury claims process is pretty straightforward on paper. However, in reality, it can be very complicated, especially if your injuries are severe and involve large payouts.
It is important to remember that insurers are in business when navigating a claim. In other words, they will always try to pay the least amounts possible, even if it means employing underhand tactics.
Approaching a personal injury lawsuit alone puts you at a very high chance of not getting fair compensation for your damages.
The only way to ensure you recover a fair settlement is to hire a personal injury lawyer affiliated with a law firm specializing in personal injuries, such as Abel & Annes, P.C.
The Claims Process
Getting a fair outcome in a personal injury claim requires taking the proper steps from the very start of your case to the end. Below is a summary of all the stages involved in the claims process.
The success of any case is highly dependent on the evidence, and so is your injury claim. The best time to collect evidence is when you are still at the accident scene.
Evidence to collect can include photos, video footage, witness testimonies, and other relevant information based on the type of accident. If you cannot collect evidence due to the nature of your injuries, you can ask an onlooker to do it for you.
Call Emergency Services
If you can, call 911. Doing this will see the police and other first responders come to the scene meaning your health will be taken care of. Additionally, first responders will compile reports of the accident, which can be used later as evidence in your case.
Even when you may feel okay, it is important to see an E.R. doctor to rule out internal injuries that may take longer to show.
Additionally, the medical reports you obtain create a link between an injury and an accident and are used as evidence when quantifying economic and non-economic damages.
Filing a Claim
The recovery process is not automatic. You must file a claim with the negligent party. It is important to ensure that you comply with your state’s statute of limitations to avoid losing out on compensation.
After you file, the next phase would be the discovery phase, where parties involved exchange information that is relevant to the case. The negotiations stage often follows.
If the parties involved can’t agree, mediation may help the parties come to a consensus. Most injury claims are settled at this stage. However, if the parties can’t reach a consensus, the case moves to the trial stage, where the court determines that payout.
Recoverable Damages in an Injury Lawsuit
Generally, an injured person can recover three types of damages which include:
- Economic damages – medical bills, lost wages, cost of medication, etc.
- Non-economic damages – pain and suffering, mental trauma, loss of life’s enjoyment, etc.
- Punitive damages – punitive damages may be applicable if there is evidence of gross negligence.
Fair compensation must adequately cover all these damages. That’s why you need to work with a skilled personal injury attorney to help you navigate through the financial and legal issues that lie ahead.