When you or a loved one is injured and considering a lawsuit, one of the most common questions is regarding the stages of a personal injury claim. Many individuals want to know how long it will take and what to expect along the way. Pursuing a personal injury claim is often a stressful time. You are in the process of physical and emotional recovery, while likely facing mounting medical bills and interruptions to your daily life. Also, you are filing a claim with an insurance company or filing a lawsuit against another individual or organization.
You do not have to go through this process alone. When you hire an attorney for a personal injury claim, such as Justin Weinstein at Weinstein Legal, the process can become much more manageable. Allow Mr. Weinstein and the legal team to guide you through the process every step of the way. Mr. Weinstein will fight tirelessly for your rights, never accepting a settlement from an insurance company or lawsuit that is not what you deserve. For a free case evaluation, speak to an experienced injury attorney today.
Step 1: Filing an Injury Claim
After seeking medical care, the first step in the stages of a personal injury claim is to hire an attorney. You want an attorney on your side who will go to great lengths to get the settlement you deserve. You want an attorney who is accessible, communicates with you frequently, and works on your case as quickly as possible.
Why Hire A Personal Injury Attorney
A personal injury lawyer can estimate what your claim is worth. Be sure to ask about any fees you may incur if you do not win your case, as well as their experience working on cases like yours, and their success rate at trial. Ask for a free case evaluation before hiring an attorney to represent you throughout your claims process.
Preparing For Your Appointment
When you go to your first appointment with your attorney, bring all essential documentation relating to your case along with you.
What You Should Bring to Your Attorney Appointment
Documents to bring include all medical bills and receipts for medical care, information regarding your insurance policy, any correspondence that has taken place between you and the insurance company or other party involved in the case, and the police report pertaining to the accident if one exists.
Also, if you have any photographs of property damage, the scene of the accident or your injuries, make sure you bring them to the consultation.
All of these items will help your attorney correctly assess your claim and advise you on how to move forward.
Step 2: Building Your Injury Case
The second step in the stages of a personal injury claim is building your case. Your attorney will work diligently during this time to gather the information and evidence that supports your claim. This is when your attorney may begin contacting witnesses, investigating liability and negligence issues, compiling a complete list of your bills and costs, and accounting for pain and suffering.
Additionally, as your attorney builds your case, you should keep them updated on any new developments. These include any changes to your medical care or prognosis. Your lawyer may also procure a medical expert for a testimony to bolster your claim.
Sending A Demand Letter
Your attorney will correspond with the insurance company if you are filing a claim with them. This includes taking all of your medical records, bills, and important information regarding your claim and submitting it in a demand letter to the opposing insurance company or opposing party.
Your attorney will focus on all of the areas of damages you have incurred including the type and severity of your injuries, bills, lost wages, loss of daily life activity, and more. The opposing insurance company or party will then either accept and pay the agreed amount within a period of time, deny your claim, or provide a counter-offer. At this point, your attorney will advise you on next steps.
Step 3: Settlement Negotiations
After your injury attorney builds your case with all of the information at their disposal, they will begin a settlement negotiation with either the insurance company or the attorney of the party you are suing. Negotiating a settlement may take some time as insurance companies often attempt to pay out as little as possible. Similarly, an opposing party's lawyer will also try to get you to accept a smaller settlement.
You must have an attorney fighting for you who will not accept the first settlement an insurance company or opposing party offers you. When your lawyer provides you with a settlement estimate at the beginning of the claims process, they should try to get as close to that amount as possible. They may have to go back and forth with the other party several times to receive the settlement you deserve.
Please be aware that once you settle with an insurance company or opposing party, you forgo the right to sue at any point in the future. Your claim is now considered resolved. Even if you have unexpected medical costs down the line, you will not be able to re-open the process of settlement negotiations. For this reason, your attorney must fight to get you as significant a settlement as possible.
Step 4: Going to Trial
Sometimes you do not reach a settlement agreement during the negotiation process, and your attorney may advise that you take the case to court. While the majority of personal injury claims do result in settlements, there is a slight chance that this may happen.
Generally, an attorney will only recommend this route if they believe your case is extremely firm. Otherwise, you run the risk of losing at trial and not receiving any compensation at all.
This is one of the stages of personal injury claims that attorneys typically try to avoid at all costs. Since most work on a contingency basis, they do not get paid if you lose your settlement either. A trial is always a last case scenario. Approximately just 2% of all personal injury cases ever make it to trial. However, it is a possibility of which to be aware.
Step 5: Jury Verdicts & Possible Appeals
If you do not accept a settlement and your case does go to trial, you may lose in court. However, this does not have to be the end of the road, and a diligent attorney will not stop fighting for your right to compensation if this happens.
You do have the right to appeal a jury verdict if they do not rule in your favor. Though be aware, a judge may deny your appeal for a new trial. Once you pass the settlement phase and enter into the stages of trial and verdicts, things become much more uncertain in your case.
It is during the appeals process that your attorney will work with you to gather more evidence to support your claim. You must keep medical documentation regarding ongoing treatment throughout your entire claims process. If you can show that your injury is causing more harm and costing more money for an extended period, it can be a benefit to your claim.
Hiring An Attorney For Your Injury Claim
If you sustain an injury as the result of another party's negligence, do not wait to contact an attorney. When you contact Justin Weinstein at Weinstein Legal, he will guide you through the stages of a personal injury claim in South Florida while fighting tirelessly for your rights. Mr. Weinstein and his team will do everything in their power to get the settlement you deserve.
Do not face the insurance companies alone and do not accept the first settlement offer from anyone. Consult with a personal injury attorney immediately. Weinstein Legal provides free case evaluations with no obligation. Contact us today and to speak to South Florida personal injury lawyer Justin Weinstein. Mr. Weinstein and his legal team will begin working on your case immediately.