April 12, 2023
Personal Injury Lawyer
As a personal injury lawyer has witnessed firsthand, injuries that involve negligence can be physically and emotionally stressful, often resulting in significant consequences. When someone is injured due to the negligence or carelessness of another party, they may be entitled to seek compensation for their injuries and other damages. Our Schehr Law, PLLC shares an overview of personal injury accidents and the process of filing a legal claim.
Common Types of Personal Injury Accidents
Personal injury accidents occur due to another person or entity’s negligence, which may allow victims to seek compensation for their losses. Accidents of this nature can occur in a variety of ways, including:
- Work-Related Accidents
- Car Accidents
- Medical Malpractice
- Slip and Fall Accidents
- Product Liability Cases
Although specific circumstances surround personal injury accidents, they can significantly impact the victim as these accidents may lead to physical, emotional, and financial consequences. Damages may be available if the plaintiff and their lawyer prove the defendant was negligent and at fault for losses. Common damages that may be recoverable in personal injury cases include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.
Filing a Legal Claim
When seeking damages, it will be essential to have a legal understanding of the process for filing a legal claim. Working with a lawyer can be highly advantageous as they can help to determine whether the victim has a valid case against the at-fault party. Keep the following critical steps in mind when pursuing the claims process:
#1. Determine Who is Liable
Before filing a claim, victims will need to know who the party responsible for the accident is. This may seem obvious in some cases, but at times can be challenging to determine. Typically the responsible party is
any person or entity whose negligence or carelessness directly led to the accident. Establishing liability can be complex, and it may require consulting with a lawyer to determine the best course of action.
#2. Understand the Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations is the length of time victims have to file a personal injury claim. It’s important to note that the timeframe can vary depending on the state and the type of case. If victims fail to take legal action before the statute of limitations expires, they risk losing their right to seek compensation. Therefore, it’s crucial to be aware of these deadlines and act promptly.
#3. Gather Evidence
Solid evidence is necessary to build a strong personal injury case as it can prove liability and tie the damages to the accident and, ultimately, the party responsible. Critical evidence victims should gather includes:
- Medical Records
- Photographs of Injuries
- Photographs of the Accident Scene
- Eyewitness Statements
- Proof of Lost Wages
- Documentation of Financial Loss
A lawyer can act as a guide for victims in helping to collect evidence and ensuring that it is preserved and effectively presented.
#4. Consult with a Lawyer
The legal process can be highly complex, and it’s helpful to have the representation of an experienced lawyer. They will be able to help victims understand their rights, evaluate the case, and determine the best strategy for moving forward. Many personal injury lawyers offer free consultations, making it accessible to discuss the matter without concern over financial cost.
#5. File the Claim
Once it has been determined that the victim should file a claim, a lawyer will begin drafting and submitting a formal legal document called a complaint to the appropriate court. The complaint outlines the basis for the claim, the damages the victim is seeking, and the legal theories under which you’re pursuing compensation. It’s essential to work closely with a lawyer to ensure the complaint is accurate and complete.
#6. Negotiate a Settlement
Personal injury claims are often resolved through settlement negotiations rather than going to trial. The negotiation process will involve the victim’s lawyer negotiating a settlement with the at-fault party’s insurance company. Negotiation is a skill that lawyers are well versed in, and they can prove valuable during this process to ensure their client receives the compensation they deserve. However, keep in mind that if negotiations fail, it may be necessary to proceed to trial.
Pursuing a personal injury claim can help victims who have been financially and physically impacted due to the accident. Working with an experienced lawyer can be crucial in providing guidance, support, and legal representation when pursuing a personal injury claim.