What Is a Personal Injury Claim?
Most people have been involved in an accident where they were injured. It is an unfortunate incident, but we do our best to recover and live our lives. What if someone else was the cause of your accident?
The most important thing you can do after an accident is to get legal advice. You don’t want to be pressured into settling quickly or not being compensated at all for your injuries. A personal injury lawyer has the expertise to advise and guide you while they work to have a fair monetary compensation awarded.
Understanding your rights and whether you are entitled to receive compensation for injuries is dependent on many things. What is a personal injury claim?
What is a personal injury claim?
This is a legal process for a person who has sustained an injury caused by no fault of their own and has suffered a financial loss. A personal injury claim comes down to two main issues that need to be resolved.
The first issue is liability, which describes who is at fault for the injury. The second issue is damages, which describe the total losses a person suffered from the injury. Both topics can be tricky for beginners to navigate, so you may want to contact a lawyer like Franklin Law Firm for assistance.
What is personal injury liability?
Determining legal liability can be difficult in an accident. Generally, the less careful person should pay for damages suffered by the more careful one. This wrongful act is called a tort, and although the injury was unintentional, the victim is entitled to cover their losses by making a claim. It does get more complicated, though.
- Accidents caused by dangerous property that is not maintained would be the owner’s fault, even if they didn’t create the dangerous condition.
- If an accident occurs at work because of someone else negligence, the employer may still be liable.
- If the person was injured due to carelessness, their potential compensation might be reduced.
- If someone is injured in a place they were not supposed to be and was injured by someone, that person had no duty to be careful.
- If a defective product injures a person, the manufacturer and seller may be liable.
There are situations like multi-vehicle accidents where many people are injured, and the cause is not immediately known. There could be several careless actions that alone may not have been an issue but, when compounded with other careless acts, caused the accident.
What are personal injury damages?
We have tort laws that impose a duty of care and provide compensation for loss or injury to a harmed person. Monetary compensation covers financial losses and damages for pain, suffering, and other losses.
Compensation covers many things, including:
- Medical bills
- Mental anguish
- Emotional suffering
- Out of pocket expenses
- Loss of wages
- Earning capacity
- Disability requirements and accommodations
- Loss of housekeeping
- Loss of future care
- Loss of quality of life
- Legal costs
- Loss of support
- Loss of companionship
Injuries are also considered for compensation, including scarring, disfigurement, fractures, dismemberment, organ loss or limitation, and serious surgery injuries. Compensation can be pursued for the death of a loved one.
There are two ways to seek compensation:
- File a claim and negotiate a settlement This involves dealing with an insurance company.
- File a lawsuit You are directly suing the at-fault party for compensation in court.
No-fault accidents always lead to filing a claim but may not go to court. It usually depends on the severity of the injuries sustained. There are also alternative procedures like mediation or arbitration.
Personal Injury Claim Process
There are typical steps that are followed with a claim.
- File a claim with the insurance company for the at-fault party. The best way to do this is through a qualified lawyer. Some insurance companies require you to file within 24-48 hours from the accident.
- The insurance company will start an investigation which includes checking medical records, looking at property damage and the cost of repairs, reading police reports and talking to witnesses.
- Give a demand letter to the insurance company detailing the facts and expectations for compensation.
- An adjuster for the insurance company will assess the merits of your claim, weighing the results of the investigation and your details.
- The insurance company will offer a settlement.
It is up to you to accept or reject this settlement. Your lawyer will give you sound advice on this. If you and your lawyer determine that the offer is too low or there is no offer, you may have to pursue a personal injury lawsuit.
A more in-depth lawsuit requires fact-finding exercises about how the accident happened and how your injuries were sustained. Your background and medical history will be looked into, and a detailed summary of your long-term healing process, including treatment to make your fullest recovery, will be documented.
Hopefully, you will be able to file a claim and be fairly compensated for your sustained injuries, and you can get on with recovery and your pursuit of a healthy life.