Filing a personal injury claim can seem like an overwhelming process for those injured due to another’s negligence or wrongdoing. However, breaking down this process step by step can make it feel more manageable.
This post aims to provide a straightforward guide to understanding each of the most pertinent steps for filing a new claim. The goal is that by the end, you will feel far more empowered to take on this challenge and get the restitution you deserve.
Talk To A Lawyer About Your Situation
Your first step after receiving any medical attention you might require is speaking with a qualified attorney practicing in the area of personal injury. Most respectable firms will provide a free initial consultation where they will hear out your situation and provide you with recommendations.
According to Parnall Law Firm, LLC, an Albuquerque-based personal injury firm, this preliminary meeting will allow them to review your case and inform you of whether you have a case or not in their professional option. This last point is more crucial than it may initially seem, as many factors beyond your control could lead to a loss in court, even if you are convinced you are right.
It is far better to know in advance if your case doesn’t have legs since it will help you avoid a lengthy and costly process that you have no chance of winning. Conversely, if you do have a case, your lawyer will advise you on your course of action and what evidence you should begin collecting that will help your case.
Gather All Relevant Evidence
A case without evidence is far more likely to fail than one which has copious amounts. In an ideal world, justice should be served regardless of whether you can prove something, but in reality, it boils down to your word over theirs, and whoever has the most compelling case will win.
Moreover, in tort cases, you must prove your case by a preponderance of evidence. Although this differs from criminal law, which requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt, you will still need information that proves you were the victim and the plaintiff was (most likely) the cause of your injury.
Regarding the actual evidence, this will vary from case to case. Nonetheless, in most instances, you will need official reports such as medical, police, company, etc. In addition, any photos or statements from eyewitnesses will be of great assistance.
Initiate The Legal Process
Once you are sure you have a case, your attorney will begin the process of bringing your case before a court. An additional interesting distinction between tort law and criminal law is the option to settle out of court through negotiation.
In most cases, this is the best possible outcome because it saves money and keeps you from having to make a long trip to court. Your lawyer should be in discussions with the plaintiff’s lawyer before it ever reaches the stage where you need a judge to rule, and if you can come to a settlement, it is wise to take the offer as long as it covers your costs.
Filing a claim isn’t particularly challenging, but it can appear confusing for those who have never done so. However, if you retain the services of an experienced attorney, you will be in a much stronger position to make the right decisions.