Personal Injury: First Steps
Let’s say that you have been hurt in an accident – you may be experiencing a confusing and stressful time in which you are thinking about pursuing a personal injury claim for your injuries. There may be many steps involved in the process of filing your claim and what you should do beforehand to make sure the process goes smoothly. Of course, one of the best courses of action to take is to look at your health and take the necessary healing time. But what happens after that?
- Evidence: Collecting evidence is very important to your claim because it can point to who caused the accident as well as overview the damage caused by the accident. Photographs may be especially useful.
- Notes: Write down everything that has happened after the accident including medical bills, hospital visits, and any lost work or wages.
- Information: Collect and review all names and contact information of any witnesses that may have observed the accident. Confirm their contact information.
- Conversations: If any conversations occur between you and other people that were involved in the accident, be sure to take proper notes on them.
- Claims: Let everyone involved know that you are filing suit for your injuries and property damages beforehand.
Window of Time: If you are planning on taking up a claim against an individual or another entity like a company, there is no set time limit in which you need to notify the person of your intention to file said claim. However, by acting quickly and efficiently, you could probably increase your chances of resolving your claim faster than if you delay. By giving others notice, you preserve your rights and prevent the other parties from defending against a lawsuit by arguing that you waited too long to inform them of your injuries. Giving advance notice ensures that you can proceed with your negotiations regarding settlement and arbitration at your own speed.
In the early stages of a personal injury case, most often times your attorney will draft a letter that explains the facts of the case from your perspective. This is the letter that will put the potential defendant on notice that you intend to pursue a claim. The letter describes the injuries you’ve suffered, set out why the defendant is at fault, and requests a dollar amount to settle the matter. The letter should also request that the defendant contact his or her insurance company to inform them of a possible upcoming claim. Any settlement verdict is likely to be paid through an insurance company.
Filing the Lawsuit
Drafting and filing a lawsuit with the courts is the last step in the early stages of your personal injury claim. Once you work with your attorney and a complaint is filed with the courts, the middle stages of personal injury litigation will take place. Your attorney during this time will be the strongest ally that you retain. This is why it is especially important to have an attorney by your side for these claims that know the complex laws surrounding your injury. Attention to detail will often times lead to an acceptable resolution to your case. Call an attorney at MDL today to speak about your potential case!