When most people think of personal injury claims, they think of car accidents. However, any type of injury caused by another person’s negligent or careless actions can lead to a personal injury claim.
Personal injury claims can be complex. If you are injured in an accident, it is important to take the time to understand your rights and protect your claim. You can do several things to improve your chances of securing the compensation you deserve.
In this blog post, we will discuss some steps you can take to protect your personal injury claim. Keep reading for more information on how to protect your case!
How Do Personal Injury Claims Work?
Personal Injury Claim Process
Personal injury claims vary depending on the exact circumstances and facts surrounding individual incidences. However, most personal injury cases go through the following stages:
Stage 1: Initial Consultation
This stage entails meeting with your personal injury attorney to review the details of your personal injury claim and address any concerns you may have. The following issues are frequently discussed during this stage:
- How the accident happened.
- The number of people were involved in the accident.
- The person most responsible for the accident.
- The severity of the injuries sustained as a result of the accident.
- Whether long-term care is required for the injuries incurred in the accident.
Stage 2: Conducting an Investigation
Following the initial consultation,your personal injury attorney should begin an investigation into the circumstances and facts of your claim. The following processes should be followed during the investigation:
- Visiting the scene of the incident and taking pictures.
- Obtaining reports regarding the incident that form the basis for the claim.
- Identifying the parties and setting up claims with their insurance companies.
- Ordering records associated with treatment, such as medical bills for injuries sustained during the incident.
Stage 3: Seeking Treatment
While your lawyer investigates what happened and files an insurance claim on your behalf, you should prioritize recovering from your injuries. For the best results, treatment and medication must be taken exactly as prescribed by your doctor. During medical treatment, it is also critical to keep track of the following:
- Medical providers you visited.
- Out-of-pocket expenses incurred.
- The number of days you had to miss work to access treatment.
These records will provide your lawyer with evidence of the full extent of the injuries caused by the accident.
Stage 4: Preparing a Demand Package
A demand package paints a picture of the financial, physical, and emotional difficulties you endured following an accident.
The goal of the demand package is to show proof that the claimed damages are reasonable, necessary, and related to the accident in the hopes of reaching a settlement with the other party without going to court.
Information typically included in a demand package includes:
- A police report detailing the accident.
- Pictures of the damage and injuries.
- Medical records and bills.
- Out-of-pocket expense receipts.
- Detailed documentation of lost wages.
Once the demand package is complete, your lawyer will assess it and send it to the insurance provider for the party liable for your injuries, who will review the demand and evaluate your claim’s value.
Stage 5: Negotiations
After the insurance carrier reviews the demand package for the party at fault, they will naturally respond with a settlement offer. Once your attorney receives a proposal for settlement, they will discuss with you the different options you have based on your claim. Although the decision to accept their offer is up to you, you have the option of making a counter-demand or even filing a lawsuit.
Stage 6: Settlement
Suppose you and the at-fault party can negotiate a settlement that fairly compensates you for your injuries, your attorney will draft a settlement agreement outlining your settlement’s terms.
Before drafting the settlement agreement, your lawyer should present you with a settlement memo that dictates how the settlement proceeds will be disbursed.
Most personal injury lawsuits are typically settled out of court through negotiation, but litigation may be required if the insurance provider disputes the full degree of your injuries.
Stage 7: Litigation
Suppose the party at fault continues to stall negotiations and you are unable to reach an agreement, the next step is to file a lawsuit and present your case to a jury that will offer a verdict against the party responsible for your injuries.
How to Protect Your Personal Injury Claim
Seek Legal Assistance
The most essential step to take after suffering an injury is consulting a personal injury attorney. An excellent personal injury lawyer should advise you on how to proceed and assist you in navigating complicated legal processes.
Hiring an experienced attorney ensures that all paperwork is done correctly and promptly, which is essential while pursuing a claim. If you want to win your claim, you must provide convincing evidence that the other party is responsible for your injuries. Your legal counsel should help you gather proof to back up your arguments.
Have you been injured in an accident and need legal help? You’re not alone. Drake & Collopy, P.C – personal injury attorneys are here to take care of you! Call us at (312) 345-0220 or contact us by email to schedule a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney.
Seek Medical Attention
You must seek medical assistance immediately so your injuries can be properly diagnosed and treated. Seeking medical assistance as soon as possible is crucial if you intend to file a personal injury claim, as you will need proof of your injuries to utilize in court. Without an official medical record, the insurance company may dispute the extent of your injuries or attribute them to a different incident.
Keep in mind that you must follow all prescribed treatments and drugs. This will increase your chances of a full recovery and show that you are serious about taking steps to improve your position. Failure to seek immediate medical attention allows the insurance company to claim that you were not seriously injured and hence are not dedicated to your recovery.
Document the Necessary Details
You must immediately report any injuries sustained in an accident to the police. They will help you acquire an incident report, which will include a description of the accident as well as the police’s opinion on who was at fault.
This report is critical to your legal compensation claim and should not be overlooked. If no police record is filed, the insurance company may attempt to downplay the severity of the accident. The other party’s name, address, and any contact information will also be required.
You may also require witnesses’ names, addresses, and phone numbers in case you need them to provide a witness statement. This helps provide independent accounts of the occurrence and adds credence to your claim and version of events.
Make Sure Your Lawyer Communicates With The Other Party’s Insurance Companies
Your personal injury lawyer should get in touch with the insurer soon after the accident and provide a statement. You should consult an attorney before presenting the statement. It’s important to keep in mind that the insurer representing the person at fault isn’t looking out for your best interests; rather, they’re assisting their client in settling for as little as possible.
Your attorney should handle any discussion with the insurance provider. This reduces the likelihood that you will say something that may harm your case. To top it all off, your lawyer will work with you to reach the best potential settlement for your situation.
Insurance companies are aware that most consumers lack the expertise necessary to negotiate a settlement with them successfully, and they take advantage of this fact. This is why it is in your best interest to have a personal injury lawyer handle the negotiations on your behalf to guarantee you receive maximum compensation.
Be Cautious of What You Post on Social Media
Following a personal accident, you must be cautious about what you publish on social media. The insurance company will hunt for anything that can be used to incriminate you. You may believe your posts are private, but it is better to avoid publishing anything connected to the incident or your injury until the situation has been resolved.
Contact Our Personal Injury Attorneys Today for Free Consultation
The first person you should contact following an accident of any kind should be a personal injury lawyer. Doing so is the only way to guarantee the success of your claim for damages following an accident. Hiring an attorney to handle your claim will allow you to relax and concentrate on your health while they deal with legal issues.
If you’re looking for a personal injury attorney in Chicago, go no further than Drake & Collopy, P.C. Our personal injury attorneys can represent your best interests and guide you through the legal process of seeking proper compensation.
We represent clients in injury claims all around Chicago, including motor vehicle accidents, premises liability, workplace accidents, wrongful death, medical malpractice products liability, and other forms of catastrophic personal injury.