Your Timeline For Dealing With A Personal Injury Case
Filing a personal injury claim is a process that tends to follow one of a few tracks. It's wise to understand how the timeline works, so let's take a look at how a personal injury lawyer would tell you to proceed with your case.
Day of the Incident
Your first goal should be to seek medical attention as soon as possible. If an EMT comes to the scene, accept care. If you're mobile, go to a hospital or clinic for further attention even if an EMT looked at your injuries. Even if you feel there's barely a chance you'll hire a personal injury attorney, it's best to have a doctor check you out.
The reason for this is that one of the easiest arguments for a defendant to present is that you either refused immediate medical attention or failed to seek it in a timely manner. If at all possible, you'll want to have a doctor see what your injuries are the day of an incident. They document what they've seen, and they may order X-rays and tests, too.
First Few Months
Make copies of all reports, documents, and bills you receive in relation to your medical care. If there was a police officer at the scene of the incident, as them for a copy of the report they filed, too.
Once you've come to the conclusion that you might want to pursue a claim, contact a personal injury lawyer and request a consultation. Take a set of duplicates of your documents to the attorney so they can review them.
The lawyer will likely want to take a few months to collect information, investigate the incident, and talk with experts. You may also be asked to visit new doctors for opinions, and it's possible you'll go to a surgeon for exploratory surgery, too.
Once your attorney is comfortable with the evidence they have, they'll send a formal notice to the defendant and their insurance carrier. If they need them to hold onto evidence, such as a video of the area where the incident occurred, this will be included in the notification.
The insurance company will bring in a claims adjuster to assess the validity of the case. If it seems reasonable, a settlement offer will be made. Your attorney will explain the offer to you and provide a recommendation about whether to negotiate or take it. If negotiations drag on or the adjuster rejects the claim, you'll have to decide whether or not to sue. Court cases can potentially last for years.
To learn more, contact a personal injury lawyer.