Roughly 3 million people are hurt in car accidents each year. As a result, numerous individuals are left wounded, frustrated, and in need of compensation. Thankfully, there are attorneys who can help accident victims file personal injury claims.
But if you’re new to this type of situation, you may not understand much about the claim filing process. But don’t worry. In this article, we’ll explain more about each step and detail how a personal injury lawyer can assist you. Keep reading to learn how to file a personal injury claim.
1. Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
The very first step in the claim filing process is to consult a personal injury lawyer. You’ll want legal representation from the very beginning, as insurance companies will have their own lawyers working to protect their interests.
Your personal injury lawyer will help you every step of the way—from gathering evidence, to filing your claim, and negotiating a settlement.
2. Gather Evidence
Once you have an injury lawyer on your side, they will work with you to gather evidence to support your claim. Collect as many personal injury claim documents as you can, including the following:
- Police reports
- Medical records and bills
- Eyewitness testimony
- Photographs or videos of the accident scene
- Correspondence with the insurance company
Your personal injury attorney will also investigate the accident to determine who was at fault and whether there are any other parties who should be held liable.
3. File Your Claim
The next step is to file your claim with the insurance company. Your lawyer can draft a demand letter that outlines your injuries and damages. The letter will also include a settlement amount. The insurance company will then have a certain period of time to respond to your claim.
4. Negotiate a Settlement
If the insurance company agrees to your settlement amount, you will sign a release of liability and receive the compensation you’re owed. But if the insurance company denies your claim or offers a low settlement, your personal injury lawyer can negotiate on your behalf.
In rare cases, a personal injury claim may go to trial. If this happens, your lawyer will represent you in court and work to get you the compensation you deserve.
How Long Does the Claim Filing Process Take?
The length of the claim filing process varies depending on the severity of your injuries, how much evidence you have, and whether the insurance company is cooperating. In most cases, the claim process takes several months. With an attorney by your side, the car insurance company is likely more compliant, which drastically reduces the length of the claim filing process.
What Is the Claim Filing Deadline?
It’s important to note that there is a statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim. This means you have a certain amount of time after the accident to file your claim. If you miss the deadline, you might be barred from recovery.
The claim filing deadline varies from state to state. For example, it’s two years from the date of the injury. It’s important to consult a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after your accident, so you don’t miss the deadline.
Common Injuries Associated With Car Accidents
Car accidents can cause a wide variety of injuries. Some of the most common include:
Whiplash: This is neck trauma that occurs when the head is quickly jolted from front to back. As a result, the ligaments and muscles within the neck are stretched past its normal limit. Whiplash is a painful and often debilitating injury.
Head injuries: A head injury can range from a mild concussion to a traumatic brain injury. Head injuries are especially serious because they can have long-lasting effects, such as memory loss, difficulty concentrating, and mood swings.
Back injuries: A back injury can range from a herniated disc to a spinal cord injury. Back injuries are often very painful and can take months or even years to heal. They can even lead to paralysis.
Broken bones: A broken bone can occur in any part of the body. They are often very painful and can take several weeks or months to heal.
What Damages Can I Recover in a Personal Injury Claim?
If you’ve been injured in an accident, you may be entitled to recover compensation for your economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include medical expenses, loss of income, and property damage.
On the other hand, non-economic restitution is more challenging to receive. These damages include emotional pain and suffering and loss of life enjoyment
In some cases, you may also be able to recover punitive damages. They’re damages designed to punish the at-fault party for their negligence.
Understanding How to File Personal Injury Claims
If you’ve been injured in an accident, don’t try to navigate the claim filing process on your own. The insurance company will have its own lawyers working against you, and it’s important to have legal representation. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you gather evidence, file your claim, and negotiate a settlement on your behalf.
Were you hurt in a collision? If so, Greenleaf Law Group can help. We understand how to file personal injury claims, and have experience with Uber, motorcycle accidents, and more.
Our team of personal injury lawyers will stand by your side until you’re properly compensated. For more information on how we can help you, contact us on our website or call (562) 550-7676.