The success of every personal injury case often depends on whether the other party is liable and the extent of injury you suffered or the damages their actions, whether through negligence, carelessness or clear intent, caused you.
This, combined with their insurance provider’s willingness to pay a reasonable compensation claim or the lack thereof, will often determine if there’s need for you to file a case against them in the court of law.
So, if you are currently in a situation where you think you might want to file a personal injury claim, we would urge you to hold off until you have read through this article. This is particularly important because many victims are always in a hurry to file a lawsuit against the offending party, when they could have pursued compensation through other, less-stressful means.
What to Do After a Personal Injury
A personal injury claim, also referred to as a tort claim becomes necessary if you have sustained significant injuries because of someone else’s actions.
Usually, the first step to take is to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party (after going to the hospital of course). Most of the time, this may be all you need to do to get the necessary compensation you need to cover your medical bills, fix/repair your cars and cover any other damages/cost.
The Claims Process
The claims process is a pretty simple one. We’re including it here so that you’ll know what to do to get the best results. Usually, all it takes is filling your compensation claims with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Once that happens, the case will be assigned to a claims adjuster whose sole job is to ensure that you truly should get the amount you claim. Please note that more often than not, the claims adjuster will try to make you an offer that is lower than whatever you’re asking.
This is because they are often mandated to help save the insurance company some money. Once the adjuster has your claims number, they’ll get in touch with you to try and gather evidence that will be used to either corroborate your claims or nullify it.
So, they will look at the accident report and evidence to determine if their insured client was indeed responsible for your personal injury through negligence. More importantly, they’ll want to determine that your injuries are severe enough to warrant compensation.
To do this, they will have to interview you and other witnesses if any, review your medical report and bills, check any available police report, looking through all available evidence, visiting the accident scene and carrying out their own investigation.
More often than not, they probably won’t go through all these processes if the claims are small. They mostly tend to cover all the bases when they are investigating claims for huge sums.
If, after their investigation, they find that their client was responsible for your injury through negligence or intentionally, they’ll try to negotiate with you. If you can reach a reasonable agreement that will cover your expenses and compensate you for your damages and other discomfort.
What Should You Do if You Can’t Reach a Reasonable Agreement?
This is where you need to hire a personal injury attorney. As a rule, we often recommend that you get a seasoned personal injury attorney involved from the beginning –even if when filing the compensation claims- of the case. That said, if you were wondering when you should hire an attorney, now would be a good time.
Most of the time, small or big compensation claims become a lawsuit when negotiations between the victim and the at-fault party’s insurance claims adjuster break down. Please make sure that your lawsuit isn’t because the insurance company paid you less than you expected. Remember, your lawsuit should be objective and result-based.
When Will the Case Go to Trial?
When many victims involve a personal injury attorney, they often do so with the intention that the lawyer will help them get their due compensation. Sometimes, this happens without the need for a trial. Other times, they don’t. The latter usually happens when there is an incidence of threshold injuries.
Threshold injuries are injuries leading to fatalities, severe fractures, dismemberment, major scarring and mutilation, and the loss or considerable limitation of a part of the body resulting in major life changes and discomfort. Consult with your lawyer before deciding to move forward to trial.
If you are in doubt, consult with a personal injury attorney like David Heil to better understand your case, and your rights to compensation.