Being involved in an accident, especially one that was caused by another person’s negligence, can be a very traumatizing experience. You may be dealing with injuries, costly medical bills, and the stress of being unable to work. It’s understandable if you’re overwhelmed and unsure about what to do next.
The good news is that you may be entitled to compensation for the damages you sustained on your person. This is where a personal injury claim comes in. If you’ve been injured in an accident, you may be able to file a personal injury claim to recover damages.
What is a Personal Injury Claim?
A personal injury claim is a legal process whereby an individual who has been injured seeks compensation from the person or entity responsible for their injuries. This could be, for example, the driver who caused a car accident or the manufacturer of a defective product.
The first step in filing a personal injury claim is to contact a lawyer. For instance, if you were involved in a traffic collision, a car accident lawyer can review your case and determine whether you have a valid claim. If you do, they will help you through the process of filing a claim and representing you in court, if necessary.
After you contact a lawyer, they will likely ask you to provide them with specific documentation. This can include police reports, medical records, witness statements, photos or videos of the accident scene, and any other evidence that may be relevant to your case. Your lawyer will use this documentation to build a strong case on your behalf, so it’s essential to be as thorough as possible when gathering your evidence.
Once your lawyer has all the necessary documentation, they will begin negotiating with the other party’s insurance company. This is usually done to reach a settlement agreement out of court. If the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement, or if no agreement can be reached, your lawyer may then file a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf.
What Damages Can I Recover in a Personal Injury Claim?
If you’ve been injured in an accident, there’s a chance that you’re entitled to recover economic and non-economic damages. Those that have a specific monetary value attached to them, such as medical bills, lost wages, and property damage, are called economic damages. This means that if you have receipts or other documentation, it will be easier to prove their value.
On the other hand, non-economic damages are more difficult to quantify but may include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. You can prove this damage with testimony from yourself, your family, and your friends stating that your injuries have negatively impacted your life.
In some cases, it’s possible to recover punitive damages too. These are often designed to punish the at-fault party for their negligence and are only awarded in cases where the at-fault party’s actions were particularly egregious. However, punitive damages are capped in many states, so it’s essential to check the laws in your state before pursuing this type of damage.
The amount of damages you can recover in a personal injury claim will depend on the specific circumstances of your case. Your lawyer will be able to give you a more accurate estimate of what you may be entitled to after they’ve had a chance to review your case.
When Do I File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
There may be times when the negligent party or their insurance company refuses to pay what your claim is worth or denies your claim altogether. If this happens, you may need to file a personal injury lawsuit to get the compensation you deserve, even if you must go to court.
However, you should know that going to court can be a long and expensive process — one that you may not want to subject yourself to after just going through something traumatic. That’s why discussing your options with your lawyer is essential before deciding whether to file a lawsuit.
If you decide to file a lawsuit, your lawyer will handle all the necessary paperwork and represent you in court. Once again, it’s essential to have as much evidence as possible to support your claim. This means collecting all the documentation you can and getting testimony from witnesses and experts. Then, you should expect your lawyer to file a complaint on your behalf, which will start the legal process.
Filing a personal injury claim can be complex and time-consuming, but it’s often the best way to get the compensation you deserve. If you’ve been injured in an accident and are unsure how to get back to your life, don’t hesitate to seek legal counsel to get the compensation you deserve.