How to File a Personal Injury Claim
If you’ve been injured in an accident that was caused by another person’s negligence, you will most likely want to file a personal injury claim. You may be faced with medical bills, lost income, time off work, property damage, and other expenses. Compensation can help you to pay these costs, but getting the compensation you need can be a challenge. Learn how you can file a personal injury claim and receive damages for your injuries.
Start Your Claim
There are many things that go into filing a claim, and it can be difficult to know where to begin. If you’ve been injured in an accident, you will need to move quickly. It can be a challenge to prove that the other party is responsible for your accident, but your personal injury lawyer will know what to do. First, you should get in touch with a seasoned personal injury attorney. They can provide valuable advice and insight, and can represent you in court or negotiations with insurance companies.
Finding an attorney may take time. Your lawyer will work for you, so it is important to find an individual that makes you feel comfortable and confident. They should be invested in helping you understand your claim and listening to your goals and needs. Interview several attorneys to find one with the experience, personality, and style that feels right for your claim. Don’t be afraid to ask for more information or references. Your attorney is an important component of your personal injury claim.
Your lawyer can help you start your claim. According to Texas law, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is 2 years from the date of your accident. If you do not file your claim before this period expires, you may be unable to claim compensation for your injury. Personal injury claims may be settled in a third-party claim with the at-fault person’s insurance company, or in a lawsuit in court. It is likely that your attorney will advise you to file a third-party claim.
To file a third-party claim, you’ll need the insurance company name and policy number of the at-fault person, as well as their information. Your lawyer will use this information to draft a notice of claim, which will include the information of the at-fault party, your information, the date of the accident, and a statement that you have been injured and are intending to file a claim. It is important to get this claim letter to the insurance company quickly, so they are notified of your intended claim. You do not need to go into detail about the accident, since these details will be shared later, once the claim has begun. Once the insurance company has been notified, they will begin processing the claim.
From there, you will likely receive requests for information and begin negotiations with a demand letter. Your demand letter will include information about the accident and your injuries, as well as the amount of compensation you are making a claim for. The claim amount that is appropriate can be determined by the total expense of your treatment, medications, transportation to and from treatment, and a set amount for pain and suffering. Your attorney can help you calculate these values and draft your demand letter. The insurance company will answer your demand letter with an offer, and you lawyer can help you negotiate an agreeable settlement. If the settlement negotiations drag on too long, you may also wish to file a lawsuit.
If a third-party claim isn’t appropriate, or you are not getting the desired response to your claim, you may need to file a lawsuit. Your attorney can be a valuable resource and can represent you in court. You will file a complaint and court summons, which will be served to the defendant. The defendant will be required to answer the complaint. You are able to file preliminary motions, which the judge may decide upon before your case goes to trial.
Before the trial can begin, the cause will enter the discovery process. During this time, the facts of the case are gathered. Expert witnesses may be called to provide testimony. Evidence will be presented, including proof of medical expenses, witness statements, and other necessary information. This time is critical for establishing the responsibility for the accident and proving all the necessary facts the claim requires to be valid. Counterclaims may be made after the discovery period, and you and your lawyer will need to answer these claims. Many claims reach an agreement at this point. Very few claims will go to trial. Often a neutral third party, such as a mediator, will help the parties to reach a mutually satisfactory solution.
If an agreement isn’t reached, the case will continue to trial. A jury may be selected if the case requires it. The plaintiff will begin with their opening statement, then the defendant will give theirs. Once the facts of the case have been laid out, the judge or jury will begin deliberation. When a verdict has been reached, it will be read in court, and damages will be awarded or denied. Shortly after the trial, and awarded damages will be paid.
Get Help with Your Personal Injury Claim
Filing a personal injury claim is a complex process, but you shouldn’t have to face the process alone. Our Austin personal injury lawyers can help with your claim. We will guide you through every step of the process, and help you fight for your claim. At the Law Offices of Vic Feazell, P.C., we are passionate about helping our injured clients recover the compensation they deserve for their injuries.
Contact our offices today for a free case evaluation. Call (512) 596-3674.