If you have been injured, there is a lot that you will need to deal with in the immediate aftermath. You will be getting medical attention and treatment, recovering, and figuring out what comes next. It’s important to remember that in all of that chaos, getting legal advice as quickly as possible is a must. An attorney can get the ball rolling on several things, such as determining who is at fault and how to best file a personal injury claim. The process can be a long one, so an understanding of the timeline to expect can be helpful.
Personal Injury Claims
A personal injury claim comes into play when someone is injured due to the action of someone else. This can be in the case of car accidents, employer injury reports, or even just out in public, like slipping on an icy parking lot or getting bitten by a dog. These situations can cause suffering and financial loss, and the injured party may be entitled to compensation. A personal injury claim is the process through which that person can lay claim to that compensation. Here is the timeline you can expect.
The Injury Itself and Aftermath
When you are injured, always seek medical attention. You may feel as if your injury is minor, but there could be an injury that is not as obvious. Go to the hospital and get checked out, so that the full extent of your injuries can be diagnosed. Sometimes, especially with the brain or with soft tissue, an injury is not immediately apparent, and may only be discovered through medical testing. Once you are discharged from the hospital, make sure to request a medical record of your injury, the treatment, and the recommendations going forward for healing and recovery.
Find An Attorney
Your search for a reputable and experienced personal injury attorney should begin as soon as possible without harming your treatment or recovery, of course. He or she can start investigating the accident to determine what happened and who might be liable for it. Most attorneys offer free consultations, and will only get paid if and when you get paid. That way, you will not have to spend much money up front to get the compensation you deserve. They will take payment from the final amount you are awarded or from a settlement.
At this point the attorney and their team will start looking at any records of the accident, such as police reports, employer injury reports, or any other documentation that might be applicable. They will go through an interview process where they talk to witnesses, experts, and anyone else who might be involved to get a big picture about what happened. Your medical records will also be scrutinized to come to a determination of how much your accident has affected your life.
After gathering all the information, your attorney will most likely look at all of the settlement options available. The vast majority of personal injury cases end in a settlement without a trial. This is also the fastest way to get your compensation and start covering any financial losses you may have suffered.
Discovery is the process by which both sides provide the other with all the information they have on the case. There is time provided by the court to do this. Discovery includes providing witness lists, and allowing the other side to interview those witnesses prior to trial.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Even if a settlement was not reached prior to filing the claim, after discovery there is usually another attempt at a settlement. At this point, both sides should understand the position of the other quite clearly, and oftentimes a settlement can be reached. A mediator is a third-party who is independent and impartial.
If a settlement is still not reached, then the case will head to trial. Your attorney will advise you as to whether you want it to be before a jury or a judge. Both sides present their cases, and the jury will come to a verdict. Even if the jury comes to a verdict, the case may not be over. Verdicts can be appealed, which would extend your case for months, or even years. Now that you know what to expect, the process of filing a personal injury claim should be a little less stressful. As always, it is vital to retain a reputable and experienced personal injury attorney to help you navigate your case. At Beedem Law, our personal injury lawyers have the experience, resources and skills needed to help you get through unanticipated situations. To schedule a consultation, contact us online or call 612-305-1300.