After sustaining a serious injury in an accident caused by someone else, you may realize you need a personal injury lawyer, but exactly how can one help you? Lawyers are asked this question frequently and feel it’s important for clients to understand their rights under the law and how they can protect their rights. Below is a general overview, but we encourage victims to seek a lawyer for a no-cost consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer who can offer guidance specific to the circumstances of their case.
Valuation of Your Injury Case
Very early in the process, perhaps during the first consultation, your personal injury lawyer can provide you with an estimate of how much compensation you might receive with a successful claim. With the insight of an experienced personal injury attorney Longwood, FL relies on, you can make informed decisions about whether or not to pursue a claim and legal strategies that will offer the best chance for recovering your damages.
What many injured victims do not realize is that recovering compensation for your damages from the responsible party does not always lead to a lawsuit. Very often, a personal claim results in a settlement and the case never has to go to trial. Your lawyer will keep you up to date on the progress of your claim as it moves forward. Every case is different, but it will likely follow these steps:
- Documentation and collecting proof. A personal injury claim must include sufficient proof of liability as well as establish the seriousness of your injury. Your personal injury lawyer may collect some or all of the following:
- Witness statements regarding the accident.
- Photographs of the accident scene, your injury, and any other pertinent information.
- A copy of the police report.
- Copies of your medical records with relation to your accident injury.
- Your personal testimony about how the accident injury has negatively affected your daily life and quality of life.
- Proof of employment and annual wages in order to determine how much income you are losing during your recovery period.
- Submittal of personal injury claim. Your personal injury lawyer will submit the completed personal injury claim to the insurance company of the at-fault party.
- Settlement negotiation process. Once the insurance company has had a reasonable amount of time to review the claim, your personal injury lawyer will initiate the settlement negotiations. The goal is to recover enough compensation to cover all of your injury related costs. An itemized list of your damages will have been submitted to the carrier as part of your claim. If the carrier refuses to offer a fair settlement amount, the claim may be escalated to a lawsuit that your personal injury lawyer will file with the appropriate court.
- Lawsuit. If a fair settlement was not offered to you, a lawsuit may ensue. Your personal injury lawyer can provide an estimate on how long the trial may last once the Court has scheduled a start time. Very often, settlement negotiations resume before the conclusion of the trial because the insurance company desires to minimize costs and negative publicity. Even before the trial is over, you may have the opportunity to collect fair compensation for your damages.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at David & Philpot, P.L. for their insight into personal injury.