Being involved in an accident resulting in injury, whether it be a slip and fall or a car accident or something else, can completely change your life. There are the lasting emotions of being involved in the accident itself and then there are also the impacts the injury itself can have. These injuries are often painful and can require invasive medical treatment and thorough follow-up care. If you were injured due to the negligence of someone else, the law provides a way for you to recover compensation for your losses by bringing a personal injury claim. What exactly, however, is involved in the personal injury claim process.
What Happens in a Personal Injury Claim?
The personal injury claim process starts as soon as you are injured. If possible, collect as much information at the scene of the accident as possible. Take pictures, note conditions surrounding the accident, and get the names and contact information for witnesses. Additionally, report the accident. This may mean calling the police so that they come to the scene and an official accident report is generated. It may mean filing an incident report at a place of business where a slip and fall occurred. Gathering this evidence can be instrumental in supporting your claim that someone else is liable for your injuries.
You should also seek immediate medical care. This is true even if you do not feel too badly injured. Many injuries resulting from things like car accidents may not fully present symptoms until days after the accident occurs. Seeking immediate evaluation by a medical professional can help ensure that you receive the care you need. Also be sure to comply with any recommended follow up care prescribed by your doctors. Consistent medical treatment for your accident injuries is not only important to help ensure you properly heal, but it is also a crucial component of your personal injury claim. Your medical records will act as the bulk of the evidence of your injuries and losses stemming from the accident. Lack of consistent medical care is one of the most serious ways a person can undermine the power of their claim which can result in lower settlement offers or denial of a claim altogether.
If you were in a car accident, you have a contractual obligation to report the accident to your insurance company. You are under no such obligation to speak to any other insurance company and should avoid answering questions posed to you by the insurance company for anyone else involved in the accident. When answering questions from your insurance company, keep things honest, direct, and succinct. Avoid guesswork and answering beyond what was asked.
A demand letter is usually sent to the at-fault party’s insurance company which sets forth the details of the accident, the losses incurred by the injured party, and the amount that the claim may settle for. The insurance company may counter with a lower offer, deny the claim altogether, or agree to the settlement amount. If the company does not agree to the amount, settlement negotiations usually ensue until either a settlement is reached or a lawsuit needs to be filed. Many if not most personal injury claims either settle prior to a lawsuit being filed or prior to the parties needing to go to court for a full-blown trial.
Personal Injury Attorneys
Facing the legal system after you have been injured in an accident can seem exhausting. SoCal Injury Lawyers is here to help. We work to get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Contact us today.