5 key steps when filing a personal injury claim

Being in an accident is devastating, and even a minor injury can turn your life upside down. If you break a bone in a car accident, the physical injury may heal after a few months, but it may take a long time before you feel comfortable getting back on the wheel. In the meantime, you are unable to work, and medical bills are accruing fast. Even when your injury is healing, you may experience permanent pain, stiffness, and weakness.

If you are not responsible for your accident, you may be able to file a compensation claim. However, this is rarely the case with signing some paperwork and depositing a settlement into your bank account – at least not if you want to. You are entitled to the highest possible compensation. There are five key steps you can take to begin the process of preparation for mediation.

1. Get medical treatment

Whether you want to file a personal injury claim or not, seeing a medical professional after an accident should always be your first step.

Even if you are lucky that you can get away with just a few cuts and injuries, it is vital to check, as not all injuries present immediate, physical symptoms.

If you plan to claim compensation, getting medical treatment becomes even more important. You can wait until your injuries get worse before you see a doctor, the other party may argue that your injuries happened later and not at the time of your accident. This may result in less compensation or may prevent you from making a successful claim.

2. Gather evidence

After a medical professional examines you, your next step is to start gathering evidence to support your claim.

Although it may be helpful to take the next photo or video – such as a vehicle involved in a car accident, the danger you were in or the wet surface you slipped on – it is not always possible to gather this evidence.

However, you do To be able to Record your injuries and the steps you have taken so far Even having a written record of what happened, who was involved, how you feel and what your doctor said can help you make your case. Better a poor horse than no horse at all.

3. Don’t talk to the insurance company

After your accident, it’s only a matter of time before the other party’s insurance company asks questions. They will probably claim that they are by your side, but they want to find out what you are willing to settle for the minimum amount so that they can resolve the claim quickly, cheaply and out of court.

You have no obligation to talk to the insurance company, but if you do, be careful what you say. An insurance coordinator looking for loopholes in your story or phrase may argue that you are not entitled to compensation. If you claim that the accident was your fault or that you underestimate your injuries, it may affect how much compensation you will receive.

4. Hire an attorney

Some accident victims choose to pursue personal injury claims independently because they do not want to pay attorney fees, but there are some drawbacks.

If you are concerned about costs, most personal injury companies operate on a contingency basis, so you will only pay your lawyer if your claim is successful.

Personal injury lawyers are skilled and experienced negotiators who know exactly what you are missing out on and how to deal with stubborn insurance companies. This means that you will often receive a lot more compensation when hiring a lawyer – even after paying the legal fees.

There are other benefits to hiring an attorney to pursue your claim. Even talking to an insurance company on your own can be difficult – stop talking to them. A personal injury lawyer can do this for you. Until your claim is successful they can help you delay payment for treatment, gather evidence, and ask for expert testimony to ensure a higher salary.

5. Watch the clock

Probably the most important step when claiming personal injury is to act quickly. If you do not move fast enough, you may not be able to claim compensation.

The law of limitations defines how long you have to claim compensation, but this varies by state. If you want to hire a personal injury lawyer in Texas to make your claim, you have two years from the date of your accident. However, if you have an accident in Maine, you have six years to file a lawsuit.

Although there are exceptions, it is always wise to consult a lawyer if you are not sure.

In addition to filing your claim, there are other benefits to expediting the law.

If you rely on witnesses to back up your story – for example, if you’ve been in a car accident and have seen what happened to several other drivers – you’ll want to get their statements as soon as possible. The more time you leave it, the less they will be able to remember the details of what happened and it can be an important element that suggests results for you.

Physical evidence can also be lost if you wait to file your claim. In a semi-truck accident, it is not uncommon for GPS data to conveniently disappear – often showing that the truck driver was at fault, such as driving too fast in severe weather. If you act quickly and hire an attorney, they will be able to get a warrant before hiding or destroying this important evidence.

Filing a personal injury claim can be a tedious and stressful experience, but following these five steps will reduce the burden and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.

Author Biography:

Dr. Louis Patino is the founder of Patino Law Firm and a personal injury lawyer in McAllen, Texas. Louis served as a U.S. Army combat medic for the 10th Mountain Division during the Gulf War era and later practiced as a chiropractor before passing the bar. She now uses a unique combination of her educational and personal experience to help clients receive justice and compensation for their injuries.

5 key steps when filing a personal injury claim

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