Personal Injury Claims Process: How Does an Injury Claim Work?
Personal injury claims follow a very specific set of rules and procedures. There are many different types of injuries that can occur, including car accidents, slip and falls, dog bites, medical malpractice, etc. Each type of injury requires a slightly different procedure, but there are some commonalities across the board.
The first step in pursuing a personal injury claim is to find an experienced lawyer. You want to hire an attorney who specializes in personal injury law, and preferably one who has experience handling cases similar to yours. Your attorney will help you understand how the legal system works, advise you on whether or not you have a case, and guide you through the entire process.
Once you've hired an attorney, the next step is to file a formal complaint against the person responsible for your injury. A lawsuit is filed, and a copy of the complaint is sent to the defendant via certified mail. If the defendant does not respond within 30 days, the court will issue a summons ordering him/her to show up in court. At this point, the plaintiff must prove his/her case in court. To do this, he/she needs to gather evidence proving that the defendant caused your injury.
If the defendant fails to answer the lawsuit, the court will enter judgment against him/her. Once the judge enters judgment, the defendant has 10 days to appeal. An appeal is a request to review the decision of the lower court. In the event that the defendant loses the appeal, he/she will be required to pay damages to the plaintiff.
In addition to the above steps, there are several others that happen throughout the course of a personal injury claim. These include depositions, mediation, settlement negotiations, discovery requests, etc.
Each of these steps serves a purpose, and knowing what happens during each stage of the process will allow you to prepare accordingly.Hiring and Retaining a Personal Injury Attorney
The first thing you need to know about hiring a personal injury attorney is that it is important to find one who specializes in what you need. If you are looking for someone to help you recover medical expenses, lost wages, pain, suffering, etc., then you want to make sure that the attorney you choose focuses on those types of cases.
You also want to make sure that you hire someone who is experienced in handling such claims. You don't want to go to court without having someone who knows how to navigate the legal system.
Once you have found a good candidate, the next step is to meet with him/her in person. During this meeting, ask questions about his/her experience, fees, and whether he/she accepts clients based on referrals.
If you are still interested in retaining the attorney, then sign up for a free consultation. During this session, the attorney should explain the terms of the agreement and answer any questions you might have regarding the case.Understanding a Personal Injury Claim
A personal injury claim is a legal action taken against someone else for causing you harm. In some cases, it might involve a car accident, slip, and fall, medical malpractice, product liability, or even animal attacks. Regardless of the type of injury, the goal is always the same: to seek monetary compensation for your losses.
The process starts with a demand letter, where you inform the person who harmed you that you want money for your injuries. You must send the letter within one year of the date of the incident. Failure to do so could cause your claim to be barred.
If the insurance company denies coverage or fails to make a settlement offer, the next step is filing a lawsuit. This is called pre-litigation. You can file a lawsuit without hiring a lawyer, but you will likely face many obstacles along the way. For example, you might have trouble finding out whether the defendant had sufficient insurance coverage.
Once you have filed suit, the case moves into litigation. During this phase, you will hire a lawyer to represent you. Your attorney will work with experts to gather evidence about how the injury occurred and who is responsible. They will also negotiate with the opposing side to reach a fair settlement.Understanding the Discovery Process of a Personal Injury Case
The discovery phase of a personal injury lawsuit is often referred to as "discovery," because it involves gathering information about the facts of the case. In most cases, the discovery process begins once you've filed your complaint. You'll want to start gathering documents, such as medical records, police reports, witness statements, and insurance claims, as soon as possible.
During discovery, both the defendant’s and the plaintiff’s attorneys will gather evidence, interview witnesses, and question the party involved. This questioning of the parties is known as a deposition, and it may also take the form of an examination under oath, depending on the circumstances of the particular case. An attorney will usually conduct the depositions, although some states allow laypeople to do so.
Attorneys on both sides will collect medical bills and records, insurance policies, police reports, and other relevant documentation. They might even ask questions about how much money you make each month, whether you're married, and where you live. These are just a few examples of things that could come up during discovery.Talk to a Personal Injury Lawyer
An experienced personal injury lawyer in Harris County, Galveston County, Fort Bend County, Montgomery County, Brazoria County, Houston, Sugar Land, Missouri City, and Stafford, Texas at Thornton Esquire Law Group, PLLC will take over the case from the very beginning and make sure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries. A personal injury lawyer will help you recover medical expenses, lost wages, pain, suffering, and other losses due to the accident. Contact us today at www.thorntonesquirelawgroup.com for a free consultation.