Stages Involved in Personal Injury Claims
We all hate suffering. The way you live might predispose you to numerous accidents that may cause injury. Consequently, your work and general livelihood may suffer. In such a situation, you need to seek redress for the wrong committed against you.
In many cases, personal injury results in a claim where you will receive compensation from an insurance company. The process of claiming damages as a result of personal injury requires the help of an attorney.
Here is how to lodge a personal injury claim that will result in a settlement:
- Contact a representative. To navigate this legal process, you will require professional help. You can contact a solicitor, a claims management company and have a representative assigned. If you live in Los Angeles, contact an Oxnard Personal Injury Attorney. Some attorneys may have heard about your case and will cold call you. You are not under any obligation to hire them as your representatives.
- Pre-action protocols. During this stage, your representative works with you to identify details of the claim including assessment of physical and mental injuries. You identify a third party to sue and send them a letter of claim that they have to reply to within 21 days. The defendant has 3 months to decide whether he will take legal responsibility for the claim.
- Gathering evidence. This stage entails establishing facts of the case including seeking witness statements and expert testimonies. Ensure that all the claims have corresponding evidence. This stage may also include gathering medical evidence where the defendant has accepted liability. It may be as easy as contacting a GP of browsing medical records.
- Resolutions, potential settlement or motions. Where liability is accepted, a resolution is reached through a negotiated and agreed settlement. The defendant can also file a motion to dismiss the claim where there is insufficient evidence. The majority of personal injury claims are resolved at this stage. Failure to reach a resolution causes the claim to proceed to trial.
- Court proceedings. There are numerous activities that go on in a trial court including selecting a jury, making opening arguments, presentation of evidence, witness statements, expert testimonies, and closing arguments. Fast-track court proceedings deal with claims less than $25,000 that often do not go for more than one day. Multi-track court proceedings deal with claims above $25,000 and must be resolved within 30 weeks.
- Judgment and collecting money. After winning your court case, the nest step is to claim your money. This is not straightforward and your attorney needs to place pressure on the insurance company or defendant. A court usually gives direction.
- Appeal. If you lose your claim, it is possible to appeal in a different court and hope for a favourable ruling.
The process of getting compensation after a personal injury is complicated and requires the help of an attorney. You are aware of the basic stages that are involved. However, these stages are subject to differing timescales and regulations. You need to be patient!