If you have been injured due to the negligence of a person or entity, you may be able to file a personal injury claim. If you have a good case, filing a claim can result in being awarded a monetary settlement that covers the cost of your medical bills, lost wages, and other types of damages. However, many people do not completely understand the process of filing a personal injury claim and what to expect. If you have been injured and are considering filing a personal injury claim, continue reading to learn more about the process:
Observe Statute of Limitations
Each state has their own statute of limitations regarding personal injury claims. It is important to know the statute of limitations in your state to ensure that you file in time. If you wait too long and are outside the statute of limitations, you will not be allowed to file a claim against the responsible party. Thus, when you're injured due to the actions and negligence of another party, it is best to file the claim in a timely manner.
Hire a Personal Injury Attorney
For best results and in order to maximize your settlement, you should hire an experienced personal injury lawyer to represent you in your case. Ideally, you should hire a lawyer who either is very experienced or specializes in your type of case. For example, if you have been injured in an auto accident, it is better to hire a lawyer who specializes in auto accidents. Most personal injury lawyers charge on contingency, meaning that you don't have to pay any money out of your own pocket, so it doesn't make sense not to hire a lawyer.
Demand Letter is Sent
Your lawyer will start your claim by sending a demand letter. The demand letter is typically sent to the insurance company of the negligent party who is liable for your injuries. A demand letter includes information about why a person or entity is liable, the type of injuries that you sustained, the medical treatment that you needed, how much your medical care cost, and the amount of wages lost due to injury.
Filing a Claim
When your lawyer files an official personal injury claim, it serves as an announcement to the court and defendant that a lawsuit is being filed. In most cases, negotiations take place at this point, and the insurance company for the defendant chooses to settle the claim. In a very small percentage of cases, a settlement agreement can't be reached, so the case goes to trial and is decided by either a judge or jury.