Personal Injury Claims: The Complete Process
Personal injury claims are one of the most common reasons that everyday people go to a lawyer. If you have ever been injured at the hands of someone else, then it is possible that you could file a claim. It doesn’t matter where the incident occurred, or who with. It might be that you were in a car accident, for example. Or perhaps you were injured at work, or while playing a sport.
Regardless of the circumstances, you always have the right to try and make a personal injury claim. However, not many people are aware of the entire process of doing so. Becoming more intimately acquainted with how it works might help you in the long run, especially if you make a claim. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the whole process, from start to finish.
Meeting With Your Attorney
If you have decided that you might be owed some money, then this is the first step. You must first meet with your attorney and discuss the case with them. This meeting is likely to be lengthy, as your attorney will want to get as much information from you as possible before starting the case. They will ask you about the circumstances of the injury, and why you think you are entitled to make a claim. It is important at this stage to inform them of any specific injuries. A case involving a Traumatic Brain Injury might be very different to one involving a broken leg, for example.
Starting The Case
At this point, your lawyer will start the case. Hopefully they will explain the whole process at this time too. However, for now it is a matter of sending a claim letter to the person or people you hold to be responsible. This letter will set out in clear detail the events leading to your injury and why you believe it is their fault. This claim might be accompanied by an expert opinion – for example, from a doctor. The defendant is legally obliged to reply to this letter within a stipulated amount of time. If they do not, the case can be taken straight to court. In their reply, they must specify whether they accept liability or not.
Making An Offer
If the defendant accepts liability, then your lawyer will try to settle the matter out of court. It is at this time that they will probably inform you as to what they think the value of the claim is likely to be. In other words, how much you are likely to receive in compensation. You should also decide how much you are willing to accept at this time. If the defendant accepts your terms, then you can settle the matter out of court.
Either you have already settled out of court, or you have refused the defendant’s offer. If the latter is the case, it is now that you will decide whether to start on legal action. Of course, your lawyer will tell you whether or not they think this is a good idea, and you should listen to their opinion.