Key Steps in Settling Personal Injury ClaimsHow does a personal injury claim start? It's always with the injury, and though that part is far from easy, in order to get a settlement you need to know the key steps involved.
You should begin the process by hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer, or at least consulting with one to see if you have a case. This lawyer will collect evidence related to the clam, including past and future medical bills and needs, lost wages and any property damage, pain and suffering issues, and much more. Your lawyer will play a key part in settling your case. If you're unsure of how to hire one, consider querying several, asking for rate and experience information, and look for a reasonable fit.
Once you choose a lawyer, he or she can begin helping you in the case. Actually, he or she likely won't help much in court, because the majority of claims related to accidents or injuries are settled out of court.
Settling a Case
The key steps to settling a case once again begin with your personal injury lawyer. Your lawyer should go over your case in detail. He or she will then decide the monetary value of the case; it's the value of your injury and its effects on your life.
The other issues involved in deciding to settle a case include: verdicts and settlements in similar personal injury cases, the chances of you winning at trial, the amount of information available which could help or hinder your case, any weaknesses in in your opponents evidence, the amount of money this defendant has to finance the case, and how much the insurer of the defendant can afford.
There is more to it, but that's generally how case are created, fought, and won or lost.
If You Settle
What does it mean to settle? You take money instead of going to court. Few legitimate personal injury cases go to court. This is because of the high cost of lawyers and other factors. Settlements are very common, and you should consider one if offered. However, you will have no more right to further claims based on this injury. That makes it important to have complete doctor evaluations, to have waited some time (preferably a year) to make sure no other conditions result, and for your lawyer to have investigated similar cases.
Settlements are common, but trust your lawyer if he or she says the number is too low.
How Long It Takes
You should always involve a doctor with your case. Of course, you will get checkups, but you should always wait until you and your doctor are fairly clear that you have no further injuries. After proving medically your claim is valid, the process typically takes several months. If it goes to court, it might be longer. Few will go to court, but you should plan for it just in case.