If you have been injured in an accident, your potential right to recover financial damages (monetary compensation) for your medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other losses, is referred to as your “claim” for damages. A claim is brought against one or more persons who caused your injuries. At first, a claim is brought through the means of formal legal demands but without filing a lawsuit in a Court of Law. If your claim is not resolved out of Court, then your attorney will file a lawsuit in Court. From then on, your claim is referred to as a pending “case” in Court.
There are several important steps in the personal injury claim process. First and most important, you will need to complete your medical treatment. Once you complete your treatment, your attorney will submit a demand package to the person who caused your injuries and their insurance company. If the persons who caused your injuries agree to pay your demand, then your claim will be resolved by way of a settlement. Otherwise, your attorney will file a lawsuit in a Court of Law, requesting a jury verdict awarding you the financial compensation that you deserve. Here is how the personal injury claim process works:
One of the first things that you will need to do is open up a claim, both with your own insurance and with the insurance carrier of the person who is responsible for causing the accident that led to your injuries. Your personal injury lawyer will help you open these claims.
While you are receiving and completing your medical treatment, your attorney will be simultaneously taking steps necessary for preserving and protecting your legal rights and conducting a personal injury claim investigation to gather evidence in support of your claim and to build a strong case.
Once you have completed your medical treatment, your attorney will prepare and submit a comprehensive and thorough demand package that details your story that you would present to a jury if your case were to go to trial. The demand will typically also include all of your treatment records, your medical bills, documentation regarding your lost wages and other financial damages.
A strong demand package can lead to a resolution of your case through a favorable settlement, in which you, and the person who injured you or their insurance company, agree to an amount of financial compensation that you should be paid on account of your claim. This can avoid the uncertainties of filing a lawsuit and going to trial. However, you should never accept less than what your case is worth and a good attorney will always make that your matter is resolved such that you are obtaining a fair recovery .
During the claims process and pendency of your personal injury claim, voluntarily or involuntary liens may be imposed against your recovery in your case. Once your case is settled, your attorney will discuss a compromise of lien claims with any lien claimants.
Even if it appears that a settlement is possible, if the statute of limitations is about to run on your claim, your attorney will need to file a lawsuit in Court in order to preserve your claim and right to seek compensation for your injuries.
If your claim is not resolved through a settlement, then your attorney will file a lawsuit in Court and request that the matter be set for trial before a jury. At trial, a jury of your peers will listen to your story and the evidence presented and based thereon decide how much to award you in the form of financial damages (money).
Certain cases, such as medical malpractice cases, must be resolved by way of mandatory arbitration due to a contractual agreement that requires any claim between the parties to be submitted to arbitration.
A court case can be settled at any stage by voluntary agreement of the parties. If no settlement is reached, the case will ultimately be decided by way of a trial and issuance of a jury verdict and judgment.