How does the injury claims process work? Learn how to process a claim by reading seven steps, such as finding a lawyer and handling settlement negotiations.
Have you or someone you love been in an accident recently? Was it at the hands of a negligent person?
If so, you may be interested in processing a personal injury claim. This process can seem overwhelming, but by following the correct steps—and with the help of an experienced personal injury attorney—you can file your claim efficiently.
While every case is different, it can be helpful to understand how this personal injury claims process works. This way, you’ll be prepared to file your claim immediately after the accident.
At DP Injury Attorneys, our legal team is experienced in handling personal injury cases, and we’ll fight to get you fair financial compensation.
Call one of our personal injury attorneys today to schedule a free consultation.
Regardless of your injuries, you should seek medical treatment immediately after your accident. A doctor can tell you the full extent of your injuries, which can be helpful when documenting your pain and suffering.
Take notes about your pain, recovery process, and medical bills. A lawyer can use these details to help you earn the maximum amount of compensation. Follow your doctor’s orders and schedule frequent follow-up appointments to keep track of your injuries.
Try to find a personal injury lawyer as soon as you can. Prioritize your health first, but contact an attorney near you once you can.
During a free consultation, they’ll review your personal injury case and answer your initial questions at no charge.
Even if you think you can process the claim yourself, speaking with an experienced personal injury lawyer is valuable. They’ll give your advice, support, and most personal injury attorneys will offer a free consultation. An experienced attorney will also help you preserve evidence.
It’s important to note that each state has a statute of limitations for which to bring a cause of action. The statute of limitations is the time you have to seek legal action after your accident.
In California, you have two years from the date of your accident to file a personal injury claim, barring exceptions.
After you hire a lawyer, they will investigate what happened in the accident. With a typical personal injury case, the lawyer will ask you questions about what happened during the incident. Include all the details of what occurred so your lawyer has a good understanding of the accident.
They may also visit the accident scene and retrieve incident reports from the police and medical records from your doctor. An investigation is a crucial step because it’s how your attorney finds evidence to support your case.
Once your lawyer has enough information and evidence, they can submit a demand package to settle the case before a lawsuit is filed. Most of the time, this is sent to the insurance company for the person responsible for causing your injuries. The demand package is a comprehensive packet that contains a detailed description of the incident, injuries sustained, and a demand for settlement based on said information. It should detail the injuries you sustained and any other damages suffered from to incident.
This package usually includes all the evidence that your lawyer found, such as medical bills, police reports, and treatment records. It should also have documentation that proves you lost wages due to the accident. After your attorney finalizes the demand package, they’ll send it to the defendant’s insurance company with a demand for settlement.
In personal injury law, some cases will get resolved without filing a lawsuit. Your lawyer may be able to negotiate with the at-fault party’s insurance company to agree on a settlement. The defendant’s insurer may offer a settlement amount, and it’s your choice whether or not you want to accept it.
Of course, your personal injury lawyer will be there to offer you advice as they continue to negotiate the best result for your case.
If both sides agree on the settlement, your lawyer will create an official settlement agreement. This document should outline the terms and conditions of the payment. Once the settlement agreement is signed, a check will be issued and the case will be resolved. This type of settlement is typically quicker and easier to handle than filing a lawsuit.
If we can’t reach an agreement with the defendant and their insurance company, you may have to file a personal injury lawsuit. This route usually takes longer, but it can help ensure that you receive fair compensation for your damages. The filing of the lawsuit triggers the litigation process, which usually includes several phases including written discovery, depositions, mediation, expert discovery, and ultimately a jury trial. Throughout the litigation process, your attorney will continue negotiating with defense counsel and the insurance company to settle your case, but if no agreement can be reached, it will be left to a jury.
No matter how you decide to proceed with your claim, your personal injury lawyer will support you throughout the entire process.
At DP Injury Attorneys, our clients are our top priority. If you’ve been in an accident in or near San Diego, CA, contact one of our attorneys.
Schedule a free consultation for your personal injury claim today.