When it’s time to seek compensation after you’ve accumulated numerous bills and excessive damages, you should take careful steps toward building your case. Filing a lawsuit with the guidance of a personal injury lawyer can vastly improve your chances of receiving maximum compensation. This is done through the attentive collection of evidence and estimation of how badly you were injured. Your attorney takes several other steps behind the scenes to ensure your case is a success. If they believe that the other party is at fault, you have a strong case. However, if you are partially at fault, this may reduce the amount of compensation you are owed.
Another concern is that you most likely won’t be required to file a lawsuit. Instead, you may simply need a settlement award. This is because most personal injury claims are settled outside of court as it is faster, less costly, and doesn’t involve a jury. Even if you were to file a lawsuit, the court will expect you to attend a pretrial meeting to resolve the issue. If it can’t be resolved, you will receive a court date. To get started with filing your personal injury claim with an attorney Pendergrass, apply the following steps:
Steps to Filing a Personal Injury Claim
Once you’ve been in a personal injury accident, you should begin paying attention to all the damages you accrue because of your injuries.
Step One – Take Pictures
You may have been injured so badly that it can be difficult to take pictures, and you may have to take photos after you’ve been treated. However, if you can, try to take pictures at the accident scene. Take pictures of your flesh wounds, the scene of the accident, and any objects that contributed to your injuries. For example, if a ceiling fan fell from the ceiling and injured you badly while you were shopping at a department store, you will want to take pictures of the object, debris, and the area where it fell from. Once you’ve been medically treated, take pictures of your bandages, crutches, cast, neck brace, and any other devices required for the recovery process.
Step Two – Get Medical Help
After you’ve been injured, you must see a doctor as soon as possible. Not only because you need to take care of your health first, but because delaying this can create complications for your personal injury. When you wait too long to receive medical treatment, it will be harder to tie your wounds to the accident. Getting medical help is important because you can use all of the medical bills as proof. Also, these damages will be included in the ultimate settlement amount. You can include fees such as surgery, imaging scans, stitches, laboratory tests, physical therapy, and other healthcare regimes. The ongoing cost of your medical bills will be added to the total amount as long as they were the result of your personal injury.
Step Three – Write Down Your Pain and Suffering
Physical pain isn’t the only important aspect of your personal injury settlement, but also the emotional trauma you experienced. Your emotional pain can have just as terrible an outcome as physical wounds and may cause you to suffer from depression, grief, anxiety, embarrassment, shame, guilt, PTSD, etc. Pain and suffering damages can cause you to lose interest in activities you typically enjoy and impact your self-esteem. You can write down what pain and suffering you experienced over time to help your attorney estimate these damages for you.
Step Four – Contact Your Attorney
Before you speak to the other party or their insurers, make sure that you speak to your attorney so that you don’t make common mistakes that could cost you a maximum settlement amount. Your attorney will perform the following tasks:
Calculate Lost Wages
Because of your injuries, you will likely have to take off time from work. Your attorney can estimate this based on how much you are paid on an hourly basis and how many days you missed in the past and will miss in the future.
Add Economic and Non-Economic Damages Together
Your attorney will then add the total economic damages, including receipts, invoices, and other bills you paid because of your injuries, to your non-economic damage. The non-economic damages are calculated with the help of an insurance agency that uses a multiplier based on the severity of the damages.
Investigate Your Claim
Attorneys improve your chances of receiving a fair settlement through an investigation. They will use traditional strategies and even reach out to other professionals who may be able to provide more information regarding your accident.
Communicate With Other Parties
Representing you, your attorney will draft documents and dissemination information to all involved parties on your behalf. They make sure that all involved parties are aware of your damages and how they can be held responsible. Attorneys are aggressive and will do their best to make sure the other parties respond. They will use the evidence you collected, the damages you endured, and state laws to show how the other party can be held responsible.
Negotiate a Settlement
Your attorney is skilled in the fair and timely negotiation of a settlement that best represents your personal injury damages. The other party may disagree or counter your settlement demand; however, your attorney can work with you to come to a fair resolution. They may even find additional evidence to refute any counterclaims from the other party. This process can take weeks, months, or even a year; if the other party won’t settle; you can consider filing a personal injury lawsuit.
What’s next after I Initiate a Consultation?
Once you meet with a personal injury attorney, you’ll receive an idea of what you may receive in compensation and whether or not you should move forward with your case. Every case is unique, so there is no average settlement amount based on your personal injury. Find out from a knowledgeable attorney how much you should receive in your settlement award.