If you have been injured in an accident that was not your fault, you may be eligible for compensation. Before you file a personal injury claim, get an overview of the personal injury claims process. Here are steps in a typical personal injury case.
Step 1: Get Treated
One of the first things you need to do after an accident is find a personal injury doctor. Look for a recognized expert in providing evaluation and treatment for traumatic injuries. Seeing a doctor is important even if you do not feel pain as some symptoms of trauma can go undetected.
If you do not seek immediate medical attention (typically within 24-48 hours), your insurer and the contesting party may try to downplay the severity of your injury. Your doctor will provide you documents to support your personal injury claim.
Step 2: Find a Personal Injury Lawyer
Look for a personal injury lawyer with necessary experience to properly handle the case. Your personal injury lawyer In Gwinnett County will help you navigate the complex legal landscape.
The professional will prepare paperwork, collect evidence (such as police body cam footage and traffic light footage), investigate the crash, interview witnesses and put together a strong liability case.
Step 3: Meet Your Lawyer in Their Office
Once you select an attorney, the professional will interview you. Your attorney would ask you to provide details regarding the accident and your injuries. The professional would want to know whether you are incurring or expect to incur lost wages or income.
They will review medical records related to treatment you are receiving for your injuries. The professional may also interview your doctor and would want to know your long-term prognosis and the nature of future care/treatment you may need.
Step 4: Try to Settle out of Court
If your personal injury lawyer in Decatur believes that they can settle your case out of court satisfactorily, they will draft a legal document known as the Settlement Demand. A Settlement Demand must include a summary of the accident and details related to
- Future care needs of the plaintiff
- Economic and wage losses
- The medical treatment
- Non-economic losses (emotional and psychological trauma)
- Case laws on damages
Your lawyer will set a deadline to respond and negotiate a settlement with the insurance company.
Step 5: File a Lawsuit
If an out of court settlement cannot be reached, your attorney will file a lawsuit in a civil court. The opposing party’s lawyer will file a response to your lawsuit. Next, the judge will hold a Case Management Conference. The agenda of the session is to set timelines to disclose documents, file motions, take depositions and go to mediation.
Step 6: Discovery
In this stage, lawyers exchange information about the accident, damages and injuries. They also exchange questions between the parties. Once both parties come to an agreement regarding the strengths and weaknesses of each side’s arguments, they can enter into mediation to reach a mutually satisfactory agreement.
Step 7: Trial
If both parties fail to reach any agreement, the case will go to trial. Lawyers from both sides will file pre-trial motions and a Trial Management Order.
Were you injured in an auto accident? We will match you with the right lawyer for your case. For enquiries, call 1-800-487-8911.