There are many reasons why you may have a case for a personal injury claim. Personal injury is the legal term for an injury to your body, mind or emotions, as opposed to an injury to property. If you have suffered a personal injury and you have a case these are some steps to follow:
Consult An Attorney
It is essential to consult with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible so that you can be assisted in the best way possible and receive guidance for your unique circumstances.
Some of the things that will need to be covered with your attorney are whether the other party was negligent, whether you can claim compensation from a defendant, the severity and extent of your injuries, what you medical costs are and what your legal options are.
Once you have retained the counsel of a personal injury attorney your attorney will investigate your personal injury case thoroughly. Police reports, witness testimonies, the accident scene, medical records and any other relevant information will be examined. Your attorney may also collaborate with various experts such as those in the medical field, reconstruction experts or any other expert necessary.
It is also vital that your personal injury attorney investigates the possible defenses of the defendant.
Demand For Settlement
This step is where your attorney sends a settlement demand. This will include a letter of demand which outlines your case along with liability and damages.
The defendant can then accept the demand, reject it or make a counteroffer.
The settlement demand will make the first impression on the opposing party which means that this part of the process is crucial and needs to be a professional and quality letter.
File Your Personal Injury Lawsuit
If your case cannot be settled with the defendant in the previous step you can take it further and your lawyer can file a personal injury lawsuit.
Prior to the trial both parties will gather further evidence from each other and each party can evaluate the other side’s case.
Mediation is a informal process whereby both parties attempt to reach an agreement in order to avoid trial. This can be done before or after a lawsuit is filed. The mediator is often a former or current judge.
It is important to have an experienced personal injury attorney guide you through this process as very often the results of mediation can have a direct impact on the case.
Going To Trial
If no resolution can be found during mediation the case goes to trial whereby a judge will evaluate all the facts before making a judgement determining fault and possibly awarding damages.
Appealing A Case
It is important to note that even if a case has been lost the losing party may appeal the case. The process taken when appealing a case is not the same as when a case is first taken to trial. It is essential to ensure that you have a qualified and experience appellate attorney to ensure that you not only win the case in the first place, but that you win in case of an appeal too.