Figure out how to handle a personal injury claim before you get hurt.
After an accident, when you are in pain and trying to heal, is the wrong time to decide what you are going to do. Having a plan for personal injury in advance, let’s you get the right sort of help, that you have thoroughly considered while in the right mindset.
Thus, figuring out how to handle opening a personal injury claim is best done in advance. Otherwise, you might miss the statute of limitations and end up not getting the compensation that is rightfully yours. However, most of us won’t make a claim for personal injury until well after the incident. This is usually due to trauma – but it could cost you thousands.
Instead, have a quick read through our article and learn how to open a personal injury claim right now, before you need it. It is better to be prepared and never need the knowledge than it is to be left out in the cold, suffering and in pain, unable to do anything about it.
The Personal Injury Claim Process
There are several steps involved in opening a personal injury claim. Before you rush off to file, however, you are going to need to research the best lawyers near you. If you happen to live in the Miami region, then consider reaching out to the personal injury law firm, Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein. Only with a personal injury specialist can you be expected to know what to file, when to file, and how best to go about evidence gathering. Get an expert on your side before you progress.
Asides from employing an expert personal injury lawyer to represent your case, here are the other steps you ought to take to give yourself a winning chance.
Personal Injury Demand Letters
In Florida, one of the first things your attorney will do is listen to your case and decide if they want to take it. Once agreed, they will help you to draft up a formal demand letter. This letter outlines what has happened and should include all the costs to you. Doing this let’s the company know roughly how much they can expect to pay out in advance.
Once the letter has been drafted and sent, the insurance company will either agree to fork out the cash or, more likely, they will refuse. Sometimes the refusal is based on lack of evidence but often, they will blame you for the injury. Don’t take it personally. Instead, your personal injury lawyer will be able to advise you on what to do next.
Your personal injury lawyer will escalate the issue by raising a complaint against the insurance company, who will likely still deny your claim. At this point, your lawyer will guide you through the process of repeating the demands made in your letter and will collate documentary evidence for you to take to court.
Once they have filed the complaint with the insurer, your personal injury lawyer must make grounds to discover as much evidence as they can to work in your favour. They might revisit the scene of the accident and investigate it. They may take photographs to document the scene, they might find witnesses and get statements there, and they could find other sources of evidence.
Accounting for your Losses
Your personal injury lawyer will want to know all your costs before they put together the disposition that they will take to court. This disposition is a sworn and accurate record of events as you and they see it. This ought to include a complete record of evidence your attorney has gathered, as well as an outline of the costs involved to your person.
Some of the costs you should include are:
- Your medical costs – include all your physical and mental costs, including the amounts spent on rehabilitation therapies.
- Your pain and Suffering – this is a separate clause and can be priced out with your lawyer’s help.
- Lost working days or missing earnings due to the accident should be counted.
- The cost of hiring carers, therapists, and any other specialists.
- Any other direct money that has been lost due to the injury. For example, if you were an artist who can no longer paint, then this must be considered.
Once you have all this together along with the evidence, your personal injury lawyer can go ahead and file a deposition.
After the Deposition…
Once this important sworn account of events has been placed with the judge, your next step is to take the matter to court, so that the law can decide who is in the right. At any time up until you go to court, the opposition can move to have the case dropped, delayed, or settled out of court. The insurer can only get the case dropped if there is no evidence.
If the insurer is concerned that you do have a valid claim for personal injury, they might block your compensation claim only to later offer an out of court settlement. In fact, refusing your initial letter is standard practise for insurance firms and doesn’t mean you aren’t entitled.
The first settlement is normally a lower offer than what you are entitled to, but we always advise that you don’t take it. It is issued to gauge how far you are willing to take the case. If you accept this and it goes away, it is better for those you are bringing the lawsuit against than it is for you. Instead, refuse the first offer and see how desperate they are to keep things out of court. They should come back with a better offer, directly.
Going to Court
If you can’t settle and you do have to go to court, let your lawyer direct you as to what the best course of action is. They have one role and that’s to protect you within the full force of the law. They want you to win just as much as you want to win, so trust them to take you through the court proceedings safely.
With a little perseverance, you should get compensation for a personal injury and be able to finally move on with your life.