Most people do not even think about what the process of a personal injury claim is until the day comes that they are injured due to someone else’s negligence. Suddenly, they are dealing with serious injuries, pain, and physical limitations, unable to work, with medical bills – and other bills – piling high. Understanding the personal injury process from A to Z can be helpful should the day ever come that you find yourself in this situation.
The following is a brief overview from our friends at Council & Associates, LLC and although it is not required by law that you have a lawyer, it is recommended that you seek out the assistance of a skilled black personal injury lawyer before speaking to the other party’s insurance company or filing any legal action.
How It Started
A personal injury claim starts when a victim is injured in an incident caused by another party. Every accident victim should seek out medical attention right away, even if they don’t believe they have been injured or their injuries are minor. Many accident injuries have delayed symptoms and seeking a doctor will document your physical condition and injuries immediately following the injuries.
After the victim has been checked out medically, they should not speak to the at-fault party’s insurance company under any circumstances before they speak to a personal injury lawyer. Once the lawyer has been retained, they will handle all communications with the insurance company, allowing the victim to focus completely on their recovery.
The lawyer will notify the insurance company that he or she is representing the victim. They will then go about collecting all the necessary evidence needed to show the victim has been injured and how those injuries occurred.
During this time, the victim will continue their medical treatments. All of the medical records and medical bills, as well as proof of lost wages, will be collected by the victim’s lawyer to help prove the financial losses the victim is suffering.
At some point, in many cases, the victim has recovered enough to return to work and the lawyer will then have the final amount of lost wages the victim incurred. Once the victim has been cleared medically and no longer needs medical treatment for their injuries, the lawyer will then tabulate the total amount of medical bills the victim’s injuries cost.
How It Ends
When the lawyer has gathered all of this information, he or she will determine the total amount of economic losses the victim had. The lawyer will also determine what type of non-economic losses the victim had – pain and suffering, emotional anguish, permanent disability, etc. – and determine the dollar value of those losses.
All of this information, along with a final dollar amount, will be presented to the insurance company. It is rare the insurance company will agree to the amount and negotiations will commence.
If the parties are unable to agree to an amount, the lawyer will file a personal injury lawsuit and the case will have to be litigated in court and a jury will decide. However, due to the high cost of litigation, it is rare that the insurance company does not finally agree to a fair settlement.