Bodily Injury Claim
Annually, around 4.4 million people require medical attention due to injuries suffered in road accidents. Accidents come out of nowhere and they can be time-consuming, expensive, and exhausting. In addition to the panic, confusion, and accident trauma it can be a lot to take.
Pursuing a bodily injury claim can seem like a daunting task. However, it can go a long way in helping you recover some of the financial losses suffered as a result of your car accident.
If you or a loved one have been a victim of a car accident, we are here to help. This article walks you through the various steps of the bodily injury claim process in Whittier and Los Angeles County.
Let’s get started.
Attend to Your Injuries
Minutes after a crash you may find yourself in a state of panic, bewilderment, or confusion. This is normal. Your first step should be to seek out medical attention for your injuries.
Even if you do not think you are hurt or have any visible injuries, it is necessary to ensure that you haven’t suffered internal bleeding or traumatic brain injuries.
Report the Accident to Authorities
Next, make sure to report the accident to the local police station or highway patrol. Talk to the police, and get the car accident on record.
Collect and Document Evidence
If you are in a position to do so, take photographic and video evidence at the site of the accident. While taking pictures, consider the kind of information that would help set the scene. This could include photographs of the damaged cars or other vehicles involved, roads, pavements or traffic signs, and so on.
Make note of the name, address, and phone number of the other parties involved in the accident. Also, record the license plate numbers and make of the other vehicles involved.
Additionally, be sure to talk to any witnesses that may be around. You can request them to give you their contact information as well.
However, avoid discussing details of the accident or who was at fault. When in doubt, avoid going on record or giving statements in the absence of a car accident attorney.
Talk to a Qualified Personal Injury Attorney
The law can be a tricky subject to navigate. Particularly when you have to focus on getting your rest, taking your medication, and getting back to your healthy, normal self.
Talk to a qualified, experienced personal injury attorney to get legal advice and representation on your case. Not only will this make the claims process easier, but it will help you stress a little less.
The Investigation Process
After you’ve communicated with your attorney, they will begin investigating. This includes gathering important facts and details about your case and the accident. During this stage, you must submit all photographs, videos, bills, medical records, reports, witness information, and other relevant information that you have to your attorney.
After evaluating the evidence gathered, your attorney will draft and send a demand letter to the at-fault party. This is an attempt to settle your claim outside of court by requesting compensation for your losses.
In this letter, your attorney will describe the nature and severity of your injuries, the monetary and physical damages suffered, and why they are at fault.
If the other party chooses to accept fault through their response, your attorney will negotiate on your behalf to ensure that your side is represented and that you get a fair deal. However, if they do not admit to fault or simply ignore the letter, your attorney will file a formal bodily injury claim in court.
Filing a Formal Claim in Court
Once your formal car accident claim is filed, the other party is legally obligated to respond. This claim includes legal arguments for why the defendant is at fault. Normally, they have 30 days to respond to your claim.
The next step, after the defendant’s response, is the process of discovery. Discovery is the legal process of either party exchanging information.
During this step, parties may ask for information or evidence, depose witnesses, and question each other. The information obtained during the discovery process will be used to strengthen your case.
Negotiating a Settlement
Typically, car accident claims do not go to trial. Both parties will negotiate to reach an agreement. Here is where your compensation is most likely to be decided.
The strength of your evidence and the negotiating skills of your attorney are crucial to determining that you get fair and full compensation.
In the absence of a settlement, the claim will proceed to trial in court. Here is where your lawyer will represent you in court, where your settlement amount will be determined by the judge upon hearing both arguments.
Don’t wait too long to file your bodily injury claims.
Most victims have a two-year timeframe from the date of their injury to file a claim for compensation in court. However, under special circumstances, you might be entitled to an exception.
Get Started on Your Bodily Injury Claim Today
Have you or someone you know been in a car accident in Whittier or Los Angeles County?
It’s time to get the compensation you deserve. Schedule a free consultation with one of our qualified, car accident attorneys to get personalized advice on your case. We look forward to hearing from you.