You can claim compensation after suffering an injury because of negligence on the part of another entity. For example, if you sustain an injury due to a motor vehicle accident or a slip and fall, you should seek compensation. It is vital to hire a personal accident lawyer to represent you because you need to prove that the injury was not your fault in a court of law. Here is what beginners should know about accident and personal injury attorneys.
Although accident and personal injury laws vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, most states and territories require an injured person to claim compensation within three years from the time they suffered an injury. Therefore, if your claim proceeds to court for determination, lodge it within three years of the injury occurring. In this regard, you should not wait for too long before seeking legal advice.
Investigating an Injury
Before a personal injury case proceeds to court, your lawyer will try to gather adequate information about the injury. Remember that for a lodged claim to be accepted by an insurer, you must prove that another person or entity led to an injury. Similarly, your lawyer must prove that the injury could have been avoided in some way. Also, the attorney needs significant details about the nature and extent of an injury. Some of the information that your lawyer requires include official government reports, witness statements, police reports, medical bills and treatment history, photographs and surveillance footage.
Making Initial Demand
Armed with adequate information, your attorney will make an initial demand to the liable party's insurance company. The insurer may accept the offer, give a counteroffer or reject it altogether. However, remember that your lawyer needs to understand the full scope of losses and injuries before accepting an offer, including permanent disability and future medical and rehabilitation expenses. Your lawyer will attempt to negotiate with an insurer for a favourable settlement; however, if negotiations fail, they may file a lawsuit in a court of law.
If a case proceeds to court, your injury attorney will represent you in the entire litigation process to ensure that your compensation claim is accepted. The litigation process may be lengthy and entails filing a complaint, which lists the legal arguments you intend to make in court. Besides, you need to present your demand for relief and facts to support the case. Other litigation processes include depositions, interrogations and requests for documents. The final step is trial of a case, which is unlikely if parties agree to a settlement earlier. Contact a lawyer for more information.