No one ever prepares for accidents, but they happen anywhere, anytime. You can become injured in a road accident on your way to work, slip and fall on a wet salon floor, fall from the roof during construction, or even from a dog bite.
If you’re injured in an accident due to negligence, consider filing an injury claim with the help of a Lakeland injury attorney. Filing an injury claim is not a complicated process. However, you do not want to apply trial and error, hence the need for an attorney.
If you are filing a claim for the first time, below is a step-by-step guide to help you understand the process.
How to File an Injury Claim
1. Seek Medical Care
The first thing you should do after an accident is to seek medical help. Depending on the severity of the injuries, call an ambulance or if you can drive yourself to the nearest medical facility.
In addition to recovery, the doctor’s report will help you in getting compensation later. If you do not go to the hospital immediately, the insurance adjusters will use that to question the severity of your injuries, hence devaluing your claim.
2. Report the Accident
The next step is to report the accident to the responsible person. If your neighbor’s dog bites, they are probably aware, but you need to inform them. State your injuries and tell them what you expect from them.
In many cases, especially for minor accidents, the parties at fault cooperate and pay for hospital bills and other losses as requested. However, in major accidents or if the person at fault does not cooperate, you need to take the next step.
3. Consult an Attorney
Many personal injury cases are settled between the parties involved, but some need the help of a personal injury attorney. An injury lawyer will help you understand the value of your claim and the legal requirements to file a claim.
Personal injury claims might seem simple, but they can become complicated. Therefore, you should work with an injury lawyer to get the compensation you deserve.
4. Investigating the Accident to Establish Negligence
When you hire an injury lawyer, they will gather details about the accident by asking you to explain the accident, ask for medical reports, speak to eyewitnesses, and consult with expert witnesses.
With the collected evidence, the lawyer can prove negligence. Personal injury cases are built on negligence. If your lawyer cannot prove the person at fault was negligent, then there is no case.
5. Serve Notice of Claim
This step involves informing the party at fault and the insurance company that you will file a claim. Sometimes serving the notice helps speed the compensation process because some defendants do not want the lawsuit to tarnish their name.
6. Start Negotiation Talks
Your lawyer can make compensation demands before taking the case to court. If the defendant’s side cooperates, negotiations happen, and the lawyers can settle the claim outside the court. This will only happen if both parties can come to an agreement.
7. Filing a Lawsuit
If the settlement is not made in the negotiation stage, the case goes to court. While the court procedures are long and tiresome, sometimes it is the only way to get fair compensation. Therefore, your lawyer should be willing to walk the long court route.
Consider Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney.
Handling an injury claim on your own, especially when you are still nursing injuries, can take a toll on you. Therefore, as you concentrate on your health, hire an experienced attorney to handle the process of filing the claim.