It\’s important to have an idea of how a personal injury case proceeds if you intend on making a claim. Knowing the steps to follow helps build a solid case to get a fair settlement. These are the things that happen that you should know about:
Seeking medical treatment
Evidence is important when making a personal injury claim, and medical professionals are credible sources for attesting to your condition at the time of an accident. As such, you should take yourself to the hospital or go see a doctor as soon as possible after suffering a mishap. A medical visit creates records that will be used to determine your case.
Finding a lawyer
There are occasions when you can settle a personal injury claim without needing a lawyer. However, you do need legal assistance when the injury you\’ve suffered significantly affected your life or caused you to be out of work for days, weeks, or months.
You don\’t have to settle for the first lawyer you find for your personal injury case. It\’s important that you also consider several factors before deciding who works on your case, and this might mean meeting several lawyers. The lawyer you choose will start working on your claim after everything has been agreed.
This is where seeking medical treatment after your injury plays a significant role. Your medical records from the accident give your lawyer an idea of how to proceed with your case. You also need to truthfully answer all the questions your lawyer asks of you, especially with regards to the accident.
This process can take a while, sometimes lasting for months. And it\’s also a process that can be a bearer of bad news: some reviews of medical records will point to there being no case at all.
Attempting to negotiate
Sometimes, a personal injury case can be settled without filing a lawsuit. If your lawyer finds that a settling is reasonable, they will make a demand from the opposing attorney or the insurance company of the other party.
Your lawyer can also pursue a lawsuit if there is sufficient grounds for it. Claims involving permanent injury or impairment fall under this category.
But before all this can take place, you must reach a point of maximum medical improvement (MMI). Put simply, you need to have ended your medical treatment or are recovered before your lawyer can demand a settlement or file a lawsuit. This is necessary because the total value of the case can only be determined after MMI.
This can lead to frustration since it may take years before MMI is reached, and it also highly depends on whether or not you have the finances to carry on with the case.
Filing a lawsuit
Going to trial takes years and procedures have to be strictly followed, which differ per state. Usually, a personal injury case around one to two years to get to trail.
What follows is a discovery process that involves a lot of back and forth between your lawyer and the opposing party\’s to get all the information they need. This process can last six months to a year, depending on how complex the case is.
The next step is of mediation, where lawyers from both parties try to settle the case in front of a mediator. If this doesn\’t work, then then case goes to trial. A personal injury trial can last anywhere from a day or a week, with some lasting longer.
These some things you might expect when trying to make a personal injury claim. Legal advice is important whether you decide to settle or bring your case to court. Contact Shamon Law today for more information!
Shamon Law is happy to provide the following legal services to San Diego 92108, and the surrounding San Diego areas: Wrongful Death, Motorcycle Accidents, Dog Bites, Bicycle Accidents, Slip & Fall Accidents, Wills, Trust and Estate Planning, as well as Auto Accidents and other legal fields. Call us today at 619-737-2727 and see if we can help you!