Fortunately, there are several steps you can take after a personal injury to prepare you for filing a claim or a lawsuit. Here’s a list of the top ten tips for personal injury claims:
1) Seek out medical attention immediately
If you have been seriously injured, the first thing you should do is to get medical attention. Do not attempt to handle any claims before you have properly addressed your injuries with a medical professional.
You should be aware that failing to seek medical attention after an accident can sometimes reduce the amount of damages you are able to recover. As the injured party, you may have a duty to “mitigate your losses.” This means that you must take steps to ensure that the injury does not cause any further injuries or economic losses.
2) File a Police Report
Filing a police report can help ensure that you have records of important information. This may include the names and contact information of other parties that were involved. Also, the report itself can serve as a record of the important facts involved in the accident. The police report can be used in court if a lawsuit arises.
3) Be aware of what you say at the scene of the accident
While it is necessary to communicate with the other party after an accident, exercise discretion when speaking with other parties. You are under no duty to state whose fault the injury was or to offer additional information. Avoid making statements that might make the situation more complicated, and avoid creating conflicts in relation to the event.
4) Keep accurate records of all costs and expenses related to the injury
These may include hospital bills, medical diagnosis statements, bills related to property damage, and insurance records. You may also need to maintain records of lost wages if the injury has caused you miss work. It’s also a good idea to make a written account of the injury, especially while the events and facts are still fresh in your recollection.
5) Be cautious when dealing with insurance companies
Involving insurance companies can sometimes make the legal process more complicated in a personal injury claim. However, in most cases, working with an insurance company will be necessary to completing your personal injury claim or lawsuit. Be sure to protect your interests when negotiating with an insurance company. It may be helpful to have a lawyer on hand for advice when dealing with third parties.
6) DO NOT sign any forms or documents without understanding them
Make sure you completely understand the terms of any forms and documents to be filled out in relation to the personal injury. Do not sign any forms if you are not sure of how they will affect you in the long run. This includes any forms that may be presented to you well after the actual event. Be especially wary of any documents or contracts that ask you to release the other party from liability, or that require you to forfeit your right to a lawsuit.
7) Avoid trying to settle on your own if you don’t understand what to do
Trying to settle on your own with the other party or with their insurance company can sometimes be a complicated process. If you are unsure of what you are doing, it is best to find some help through the advice of a legal expert. This is especially important if the other party will be hiring a lawyer. Working with your own lawyer can help you avoid costly mistakes that can have negative effects on your claim.
8) Be aware of filing deadlines
Make sure that you file your legal claim or lawsuit in a timely manner. For most personal injury claims, you only have a certain window of time after the accident to file with the courts. This is known as the “statute of limitations,” which can vary depending on the state and the type of accident involved. Once the statute of limitations has expired, you might not be able to file your claim anymore.
9) Do some preliminary research on the legal process
It may be worth your while to familiarize yourself with the basics of personal injury lawsuits in your area. Local rules may vary, and personal injury claims can take some time to fully resolve. While you are not expected to become an expert, speaking with a lawyer for some basic guidelines can help take some of the confusion out of the process.
10) Be aware of what type of lawyer you will need to hire
Remember, not all personal injury lawyers are the same. Some specialize in certain fields, while others handle more general claims. There are many different types of personal injury lawyers, and one may be more suitable for your situation than another.
How Do I Find a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Finding the right type of personal injury lawyer for is critical for the success of your claim. You can find an injury attorney through LegalMatch using our online case-posting system. Working with the right attorney can help you obtain the appropriate legal remedy for your situation, and can help you avoid costly errors during filing.
Here at Staver Law Group, we know the complex decisions and tasks you face during law school. After all, we went through it ourselves. While you’re heavily focused on your classes each semester, you’re also expected to take on additional responsibilities. From school-related organizations to internships and clerk positions, you’re motivated to learn as much as possible and build a strong resume.
Yet, we also understand that law school is a struggle. For those of you who personally deal with an accident-related injury or disability, or have been deeply affected by an accident, you are forced to navigate your education with additional burdens. You must compete in a world that was created for and prioritizes able-bodied individuals, and you must not let the stress of the financial situation an accident leaves behind distract you from your educational goals.
To enable students impacted by an accident or other personal injury situation to focus on their schoolwork, the Staver Law Group created the Personal Injury Scholarship. It is our hope that this national scholarship, now in its fifth year, will not only help a student but also foster an appreciation for the work personal injury lawyers around the country do every day.
Focusing on helping others and community safety
As personal injury attorneys, our job is to help. We see firsthand how car crashes and other types of accident effect our clients’ lives. We see their pain and the suffering this trauma brings on their families. We witness how injuries put our clients and their loved one’s careers, educations, and lives on hold. Their needs propel us forward in fighting for their rights.
However, we know there is more we can do. The struggles our clients and other accident victims face do not end when the insurance claim process or lawsuit is over. For many of them, they are still in the midst of recovering and picking up their lives. This is the time when they need additional support.
We created the Staver Law Group Personal Injury Scholarship to ensure someone impacted by an accident receives that additional support while they pursue their education. A collision or some other accident should never hold someone back from pursuing a degree.
Every year, we award $5,000 to a college or graduate student who understands and appreciates the importance of personal injury law. The recipients may have been injured in an accident themselves or impacted when a loved one was hurt. They may also be active in promoting community health and safety, an important focus at Staver Law Group.
In the inaugural year, the 2014 Personal Injury Scholarship was awarded to Tiffane King, a student at University of California, Irvine School of Law. Tiffane had been seriously injured in an accident herself and used this as motivation to help others through her future legal practice and volunteer work.
In 2015, we awarded the scholarship to Husnah Khan, a student at Wayne State University School of Law. After suffering a concussion in a rear-end accident, Husnah overcame numerous physical and cognitive limitations to reach her goal of attending law school.
In 2016, we awarded the scholarship to Juliana Ruggieri, who intended to further her career by earning a Master of Science degree in Environmental Health and Safety from the University of Wisconsin. Juliana demonstrated a deep understanding of how personal injury attorneys affect leading safety initiatives.
Last year, Tyler Nance received the scholarship. As a student at the University of Alabama, pursuing a degree in Aerospace Engineering, Tyler hopes to improve the efficiency and safety of space travel. Like Juliana, Tyler demonstrated an understanding of the role personal injury lawyers play in leading safety initiatives, and how he promotes safety every day.
This year, we are confident we will find an equally bright student who has been affected by and understands personal injury law and will continue to positively impact their community.
If you or someone around you has been unfortunately been injured then he might be needing a personal injury lawyer. Though one argues that what’s the need of a personal injury lawyer when they have signed up for an insurance policy. What they don’t realize is that most of the time insurance policies hesitate to pay up the bill and often shorten the amount as well as pressurizes the client. For this reason, one should definitely know the personal injury lawyerand should contact him. It has been estimated that there are roughly around 700,000 injury claims that are filed each year in the U.S alone. There is not one specific type of injury that a person goes through but are many uncountable injuries that a person could unfortunately get. If you were surfing the internet for it then there is nothing to worry about as this article has got you covered. This article will guide you through 6 types of personal injuries that must need a personal injury lawyer.
Car accidents require a personal injury lawyer
There is no doubt that car accidents are one of the most common types of injuries that a person goes through. One of the main reasons for accidents is that one of the people is not following the proper rules of the road or he might be a careless driver. With the help of personal injury lawyer one can definitely make the driver responsible for all the physical and financial damage.
Slip and Fall
Besides car accidents, slip and fall cases are one of the most unfortunate personal injuries that an individual can go through. Many people which mainly include property owners are held responsible for not keeping their property safe due to which many people become a victim of slip and fall cases.
Medical malpractice claims can be filed with the help of a personal injury lawyer if a doctor fails to provide valid treatment to their patient according to appropriate medical standards. Though it is not as simple it sounds because getting bad results doesn’t ensure that malpractice has occurred. One should definitely go through the details before filing or claiming one of these.
Defamation is found to be one of the most worse injuries that a person can go through. The main reason is that road accidents can be healed in a few weeks but sometimes defamations can take quite long times such as months or even years. One can totally lose self-confidence and self-esteem. Legal action can be taken if any person is found to be defaming another individual with the help of a personal injury lawyer.
If a person has a dog, then it’s his responsibility to make sure that the others nearby his dog are safe. If an individual gets a dog bite then the owner of the dog is held responsible for it without any doubt. With the legal help and advice of personal injury lawyer the owner of the dog can be questioned and held responsible for that financially.
It is quite different from other types of personal injuries as in this one isn’t harmed unintentionally but a person harms another person on purpose and intentionally. These cases can become quite intense with a little touch of criminal cases in them. It is advised by professionals to opt for a personal injury lawyer if one faces these types of issues.
After a severe accident, it’s normal to have questions. What will your recovery look like? When and how can you return to work despite your injuries? What do you need to do next?
“Do I need a personal injury attorney?” however, this is one of the most important questions many people will ask following an accident. The answer, almost always, is yes. The sooner you hire one, the easier and more efficiently your personal injury lawyer can resolve your case. The answers to the following questions can help you understand why.
How Serious Are Your Injuries?
Perhaps you slipped and fell in a local store, sustaining minor scrapes or bruises, or found yourself in a minor fender-bender resulting in little more than cosmetic vehicle damage. Ordinary instances like these happen frequently, and most of us are equipped to handle them on our own.
On the other hand, a slip-and-fall onto a hard surface can break bones or cause concussions; even a “minor” rear-end accident can result in serious damages to the soft tissues of the neck and spine.
If you suffered serious injuries in your accident, you should contact an attorney as soon after the accident as possible. Severe injuries often leave the victims of those accidents with substantial medical bills, extended medical treatments, and in many cases, no or reduced income to help pay for those bills.
Any time you suffer serious injuries in an accident, including traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, or amputation, working with an attorney is invaluable for seeking the compensation you deserve, as well as giving you a better understanding of the claims process and how much compensation you might expect. These often complex injury cases can involve large damage awards and insurance companies that don’t want to pay them; an experienced personal injury attorney will know the best strategies for pursuing your case and protect your best interests through every stage of the claims process.
Who Caused Your Accident?
A personal injury claim requires you to establish that another party caused your injuries. If you believe that happened, or that outside factors contributed to the accident, you probably need an attorney to collect evidence and pursue your personal injury claim.
In many accidents, multiple parties may share liability. An attorney can identify all of those parties and help you seek compensation from each one.
For example, in a medical malpractice case, you may have grounds to file a claim against both the hospital where the malpractice took place and the doctor who committed malpractice, depending on what happened. Similarly, in a truck accident, you might pursue compensation from both a truck driver and the trucking company that employed him.
Have You Spoken With the Insurance Company or Liable Party?
Many accident victims do not think about speaking with an attorney until they have already connected with the insurance company—but you do not have to wait to speak with the liable party or the insurance company that covers the liable party before contacting a personal injury lawyer. In fact, you’re almost always better off letting your personal injury lawyer handle those communications. Insurers are in no hurry to pay out on claims, and insurance companies may use their conversations with you to get you to compromise your claim.
If you already spoke with an insurance company representative, your initial conversation with the insurance company may have triggered your awareness of the need to contact an attorney about your claim.
For example, if:
1. The insurance company denies your claim.
Hearing that the insurance company denied your claim can cause devastation and fear in many accident victims. Not only do you have to navigate your injuries and your recovery, you may worry that you will now have to figure out how to pay your medical bills on your own.
If the insurance company that covers the liable party denies your claim, an attorney can help dispute that denial and achieve a more satisfactory resolution. The insurance company may deny the claim for one of several reasons.
The insurance company believes that the party they cover did not cause the accident. The insurance company may attempt to claim that you caused the accident, or may try to establish that another party bears liability for the accident.
An attorney can help investigate the accident and determine who bears liability. In an auto accident, for example, that might involve not only looking for video of the accident or consulting witnesses at the scene, but bringing in an expert witness who can help establish exactly how the accident occurred and who or what caused it.
Not only that, an attorney can often get access to information that you may have a harder time accessing. In the case of an accident with a commercial truck driver, for example, an attorney might get access to the trucker’s logbook, which will show how long the truck driver spent behind the wheel before the accident.
An attorney might also investigate public records concerning past accidents at an intersection, or take a look at repair reports on a vehicle to determine whether the vehicle received maintenance on a reasonable schedule (or missed needed maintenance that could have prevented the accident).
For many accident victims, that investigation doesn’t only turn up evidence concerning who caused the accident. It may also turn up critical information that establishes whether additional parties contributed to the accident. This knowledge can help the victim pursue a personal injury claim against each liable party.
The insurance company disputes that your injuries cause the limitations that you claim. An insurance company covering a personal injury claim may ask to see substantial evidence of the limitations caused by your injuries. The medical bills and medical records, which establish the extent of your injuries, are just the start. The insurance company will often want to know more about how those injuries affect your life, both immediately after the accident and in terms of your long-term prognosis.
The insurance company may also investigate you personally. If the company believes that you exaggerated your injuries or lied about your limitations, it may deny your claim. Often, it will check your social media accounts to see whether you engage in activities that you say your accident prevents you from doing—and it may well take your social media posts far out of context to deny your claim.
An experienced personal injury attorney can give you a better idea of what information the insurance company may need to approve your claim. More importantly, your attorney can help place you in the ideal bargaining position to maximize the odds of a favorable settlement. If the insurance company does deny your claim, an experienced personal injury attorney can appeal the denial and provide evidence to increase your odds of a successful resolution.
2. The insurance company delays responding to your claim or delays payment on your claim.
Some time has passed since your accident, but you have received no response from the insurance company that covers the liable party or from the liable party directly. Conversely, perhaps you received a fast initial communication from the insurance company, but then contact tapered off. Now you have no idea of what to expect next, or when you should expect to receive payment for your claim.
Maybe you even accepted a settlement offer from the insurance company, but the expected payment failed to arrive.
Insurance companies may use multiple tactics to delay payment on your personal injury claim. Often, they do not want to turn that money over before they have to, even though you need those funds to pay for your medical bills and manage your other expenses.
A personal injury attorney can help get the response you need from the insurance company. Often, simply retaining an attorney will let the insurance company know how seriously you plan to pursue compensation. An attorney can also provide you with information about the penalties the insurance company may face for ignoring your claim.
3. The insurance company issues a low settlement offer.
Rather than considering the needs of the victim and adhering to the letter of their policies, many insurance companies will try to minimize the compensation they pay an accident victim. Often, this begins shortly after the accident. The insurance company may contact you within days of the accident to provide a settlement offer. This offer may reflect the minimum that the insurance company thinks it can get away with paying you.
If you accept that offer, there is a good chance it is not enough to address the full extent of your injuries (both now and in the future). More importantly, accepting the initial offer usually prevents you from pursuing additional compensation at a later date, even if your actual expenses end up greatly exceeding the amount of the initial settlement.
Before accepting a settlement offer from the insurance company or the liable party in your accident, contact a personal injury attorney. Many will offer a free consultation that will give you a better idea of how much compensation you should expect, and how you should react to the terms offered in a given settlement. An attorney can provide you with valuable advice concerning how to proceed with your claim to prevent you from missing out on the funds you deserve after a serious accident.
4. The insurance company will not negotiate.
You may have chosen not to contact a personal injury attorney immediately after receiving a settlement offer. After all, one look at it told you that the offer did not reflect the funds you actually deserved, especially considering the severity of your accident. You rejected the offer, and came back with a counteroffer of your own.
Unfortunately, the insurance company continues to respond with extremely low offers that fail to reflect the true expense of your injuries.
A personal injury attorney will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. If your claim needs to go to court, an attorney can represent you. Throughout the negotiation process, the attorney will keep your needs in mind, not the needs of the insurance company. Insurance companies know it’s easier to take advantage of an unrepresented claimant. By securing the services of an experienced personal injury attorney, you can show insurers that you mean business.
How Much Time Has Passed Since Your Accident?
Every state determines its own statute of limitations, or the time period in which an injured person can file a personal injury claim. This is why it’s vital to contact an attorney as soon as possible—should this time period lapse, you are likely barred from presenting a claim.
If time has passed since your accident, especially if you have not communicated with the insurance company or liable party at all, immediately consult a personal injury attorney to ensure your claim is still valid. This is why the most common piece of advice to victims of personal injury is to contact an attorney as soon as possible after their injury.
Do You Have Questions About Your Rights?
Most people know little about their rights following a serious injury, whether due to an auto accident, nursing home abuse or negligence, or a slip and fall. You may not know how much compensation you deserve, how long it will take to settle your claim, or even who bears liability for a specific type of accident.
A personal injury lawyer is someone who provides legal representation to individuals who have been injured in an accident. Personal injury lawyers work in tort law, which includes negligent acts as well as intentional acts. They pursue compensation for accident victims.
Types of Personal Injury Cases
Personal injury cases often involve the negligent acts of others. This includes automotive accidents, including motorcycle accidents and truck accidents. Personal injury lawyers may also handle other types of transportation accidents, including aviation accidents, bike accidents, mass transportation accidents, boating accidents and pedestrian accidents. They may also handle cases involving premises liability, including negligent FIND MORE LEGAL ARTICLESSEARCHsecurity, slip and fall accidents and animal bites and attacks. They may also handle cases involving nursing home abuse and neglect and construction accidents. Medical malpractice cases also fall under the umbrella of personal injury cases.
Types of Compensation
Personal injury plaintiffs may be entitled to compensation for the damages that they have suffered. This includes medical expenses, loss of income, loss of earning capacity, emotional distress, loss of consortium, loss of companionship, loss of enjoyment of life, mental anguish, and pain and suffering.
Acts of Personal Injury Lawyers
The specific actions that personal injury lawyers do depends on the type of case, specialty area and where they are in the process of a case. Some of the activities that personal injury lawyers may do and how they benefit your case include:
Personal injury lawyers generally work on a contingency fee basis in which they only charge attorney’s fees after they have secured a settlement or jury verdict. Because they often finance a case, they take great care in screening potential clients and evaluating the merits of the case. A personal injury lawyer will not want to take on a case that he or she does not believe will result in a win for the client.
A personal injury may gather evidence to support the plaintiff’s claim. This may involve procuring any police or incident report. He or she may track down witnesses and get witness statements. He or she may take or instruct a photographer to take pictures of the accident report. He or she may also retain evidence for the case, such as property damage, camera footage or other evidence.
Evidence may establish liability for who caused the accident and the extent of the damages that the plaintiff suffered. Evidence may include medical reports, medical records, bills, employment documents, employment reports and property damage reports.
Negotiating with Insurance Companies
Most people do not negotiate as part of their typical lives. However, personal injury lawyers are used to negotiating with insurance companies. They can review the policy details and determine the maximum level of compensation that may be available based on the specific circumstances of the case. A personal injury lawyer may also handle all communications with the insurance company and prevent the injury victim from doing anything that may jeopardize his or her claim, such as giving a recorded statement.
Sending Demand Letters
A personal injury lawyer may send a demand letter to an insurance company after thoroughly investigating the claim. This demand letter states the facts of the accident and demands a certain amount of damages for the injury that the defendant caused.
If the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement, the personal injury lawyer may prepare a complaint against the defendant. The complaint sets out the legal arguments regarding why the defendant is responsible for the accident. The complaint also states an amount of damages that the client is seeking. The defendant generally has 30 days from the date of receiving the complaint to prepare an answer to it.
The plaintiff’s lawyer may initiate discovery processes. This includes sending interrogatories to the defendant to ask for certain information. It can also include deposing parties, witnesses, and experts.
Representing Clients at Trial
If the case proceeds to trial, a personal injury lawyer provides representation in court. Personal injury lawyers are familiar with court customs and procedures and can ensure that these steps are carefully followed.
Contact a Lawyer for Assistance
It is important to have a personal injury lawyer by your side if you have been injured in an accident caused by someone else. A lawyer can help you level the playing field since the other side will likely have a lawyer on his or her side. He or she can draw on resources like expert witnesses and private investigators when necessary. Provided by HG.org
Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication at the time it was written. It is not intended to provide legal advice or suggest a guaranteed outcome as individual situations will differ and the law may have changed since publication. Readers considering legal action should consult with an experienced lawyer to understand current laws and.how they may affect a case.