When you are injured in a car accident due to the negligence of another driver, a whole process begins. The process of a personal injury claim is by no means simple and can confuse even the smartest of folks. However, one thing about a personal injury claim process is that it follows a set, logical and predictable path every step of the way.
This process begins with finding and hiring a reliable personal injury lawyer in Macon. Once you have hired an attorney, it is important that you understand the basic laws that govern personal injury, gathering evidence, filing a complaint, attempting to settle, and if nothing works, going to trial.
While an experienced personal injury lawyer in Mason, GA, can certainly handle your case for you, it is in your best interest that you understand how this entire process works.
Knowing the basics on the development of a personal injury case will greatly benefit you by giving you a clear understanding of what will follow. If not a clear understanding, you will at least have a sense of familiarity with what is coming next, which will allow you to plan your steps ahead of time.
With no further ado, let us break down the personal injury claim process.
How Do Personal Injury Claims Work?
Injuries caused by another person’s negligence or carelessness are not uncommon. This happens every minute of every day. Insurance companies pay out several billion dollars in the form of compensation for injuries caused on the road, slip and fall claims, and even medical malpractice.
The most common personal injury claims are for injuries caused by car accidents. You can build a successful injury claim by proving that you were hurt and the injuries you sustained were due to someone else’s negligence or fault. Collecting evidence is an essential part of the personal injury claim process.
In order to file a claim, you must first request copies of your medical record as well as bills from your doctors, therapists and anyone else who may have treated you. These documents are turned in to the insurance company that will review them and accept liability for their insured.
This means once they have investigated the claim and accepted liability, they will pay you for your losses.
How is a Personal Injury Claim Calculated?
The next important question that most claimants wonder is how a personal injury claim is calculated. For your personal injury claim to be calculated, you will need to document all treatment, surgeries, and procedures that you may have undergone and/or need in the future to completely recover from your injuries.
It is important to remember that you will also need to account for any future and long-term needs. These documents are looked into by the insurance company and taken into account while calculating your claim.
Putting a number to the damage or injuries sustained is not an easy task, but is required as a part of filing the personal injury claim.
In order to come up with an amount, you can use the multiplier method or the “per diem” (daily rate) method.
The multiplier method is quick and easy, and helps you determine a total loss that you can declare to your insurance company. This method calls involves coming up with a sum total of all the special damages you incurred as a direct result of the accident and to multiply them between 1.5 on the low end and 5 on the high end.
The multiplier, which is the second number that falls between 1.5 and 5, helps you put forth the impact of your injuries on your day-to-day life. This method is used and accepted by most insurance companies.
Another simple approach to calculate pain and suffering is the per diem method. This allows you to ask for a certain dollar amount for each day that you were forced to live in pain due to the accident. This method may fall apart when you sustain injuries that need long-term treatment.
However, in such cases, an injury lawyer in Macon, GA can help you come up with the amount to demand for your claim.
When documenting all treatment in the foreseeable future, it is also important to tally the cost of medical care that you have already received. You may include bills from physical therapy and chiropractor visits.
When filed properly, you may receive compensation for the medical bills accumulated, the amount of wages lost, the medical treatment, and pain and suffering damages.
How Many Personal Injury Claims Go to Court?
If you are filing a personal injury claim, you may be wondering how many claims actually go to trial. While going to court can be a scary thought, in reality, less than 5% of all personal injury cases end up in court. In most cases, the parties involved settle out of court.
If you are told that your case is going to trial, it more often than not simply means that your case is in progress. Over 95% of all personal injury claims are settled pre-trial. The 5% trials that go to court, however, largely end up losing.
How Much is the Average Personal Injury Claim Worth?
One of the best ways to figure out what kind of personal injury settlement you can expect is to simply look at the average personal injury settlements. It is important to remember that the range of possible settlements in personal injury cases can vary greatly.
The circumstances and facts surrounding your accident and injuries will impact the amount of settlement that you will receive. While the average personal injury settlement amount may give you some sort of insight on your own settlement, the value of your settlement will depend on factors that are specific to your case alone.
In general, it would be fair to say that the level of negligence of the other party, the nature and extent of your injuries, state-based guidelines, and even the quality of your legal representation can influence the final settlement that you receive.
If you are looking for a ballpark figure, it would be safe to say that if you fall on the lower end of the scale, your case could settle for as little as a few thousand dollars.
That being said, a large number of personal injury cases are known to settle for much more! Suffice to say, a personal injury final monetary settlement falls in the range of $3,000 and $80,000.
This does not mean that every case will receive a settlement on the higher end of this range.
How much you receive solely depends on the severity of your injuries and also the negotiability of the at-fault insurance firm. There are some claims that do get settlements in the tune of several million dollars.
It is therefore important for you to remember that a crucial factor in your monetary settlement is the ability of the at-fault party to pay for the value of the injuries you sustained and the damages you incurred.
How is My Personal Injury Claim Worth Calculated?
As discussed earlier, the first step in negotiating a settlement for a personal injury claim is to come up with a reasonable amount of money that you are willing to accept as a settlement. The way to arrive at this number would be to use either the multiplier method or the per diem method.
Most insurance companies as well as personal injury attorneys use the multiplier method to come up with an estimate of your medical expenses and a dollar amount for your pain and suffering.
This figure is then added to your economic losses that you may have incurred in way of medical bills, lost income and so on.
The multiplier and per diem calculators are available online and are great ways for you to estimate your personal injury claim worth.
Can I Cancel My Personal Injury Claim?
Yes, you can. At any given time, if you choose to drop your personal injury claim, you can do so, as long as you opened the claim to begin with. In cases when another driver files a claim against you, you cannot cancel the claim.
According to personal injury attorneys, if you can handle short-term charges, you will benefit by canceling your claim. In doing so, you will not have to pay more to complete the process.
You must also bear in mind, if you have hired an auto accident attorney in Macon, you are also responsible for his or her fees.
And, if your statute of limitations has expired, and you cancel your claim, you may not be able to reopen it on a future date. It is therefore important that you speak to an attorney before you drop a personal injury case.
Can I Claim Personal Injury If the Accident Was My Fault?
This is yet another question many drivers come up with after slamming into a parked car and sustaining injuries in the process. The answer is a Yes and a No.
In the common scenario, if you are injured as a result of an accident that was caused due to your own negligence, you will not be allowed to file a claim for compensation unless the other person in the accident was also partly at fault.
Can I Claim Personal Injury on My Own Insurance?
Most states in the US allow an option for an individual injured in accidents to file a bodily injury insurance claim against the at-fault driver. In most no-fault states, drivers can use their own insurance to pay for their medical expenses sustained from an accident.
Lawsuits can be filed if the costs go over a certain dollar amount. This goes to say that filing personal injury on your own insurance is not allowed in all states and by all insurance companies.
Can I File a Personal Injury Claim Without a Lawyer?
In cases where injuries are relatively minor, you can certainly negotiate your own claim. However, in more complex cases where injuries are grievous, you will do good in hiring a reliable car accident lawyer in Macon, GA, to negotiate your claim for you.
A personal injury claim can be both complex and time consuming and often require legal knowledge and expertise, especially in cases where the damage caused by the accident is severe.
Can I Make a Personal Injury Claim After 3 Years?
The time limit to file a personal injury claim is 3 years from the date of the accident. This goes to say that court proceedings must begin by issuing a claim form at the court within three years of the incident.
If your claim has not been settled by the third anniversary of your accident, you will not be permitted to make a claim.
There are certain exceptions to this rule, such as an error or negligent act of a medical practitioner treating you for your injuries. In such cases, a medical malpractice lawyer in Macon, GA can help navigate your case for you.
A personal injury case can be complex to understand and baffle a claimant as to how to calculate losses and file a claim on their own. Thankfully, there are experts who specialize in filing personal injury claims.
If you or someone you know has been in an accident and sustained grievous injuries, waste no time, call The Hurt 911 Injury Group at 1-800-487-8911 to discuss your case with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys.