Category: Personal Injury

Step-by-Step Guide for Filing a Personal Injury Claim

Step-by-Step Guide for Filing a Personal Injury Claim

The timeline of a personal injury case can vary greatly depending on the way the accident happened, the seriousness of your injuries, the defendant’s attitude toward settlement, and the overall complexity of your case. 

The steps below are general guidelines that you can refer to, even though your claim will probably differ in some respects. It’s also best to set up a consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer to ensure your claim is filed appropriately.

Obtain Medical Care 

Nothing is more important than prompt medical care, for both medical and legal reasons. Even if you feel fine, seek immediate medical treatment if you have any doubts whatsoever. Some injuries, such as certain types of head injuries, don’t always generate immediate symptoms. 

If you delay seeking medical treatment, you are inviting the opposing party to claim that your injuries didn’t occur until after the accident. 

Prepare Appropriate Documentation

Prepare and retain the following documentation:

  • Medical records: All treatment-related documentation related to your injury.
  • An accident report or police report, if one exists. If your injury occurred at work, file a report with your employer.
  • Photographs of your injuries and the scene of the accident. In a car accident, the positions of the cars on the road can be particularly revealing.
  • Witness statements. Get their contact information and, later, written statements.
  • Your insurance policy documents. 
  • Any correspondence with insurance companies Record any telephone conversations.
  • Expense receipts, to document your out-of-pocket expenses.
  • Documentation of missed work and lost income.
  • Your journal detailing your pain levels, emotional distress, difficulties in daily activities, and general quality of life.
  • Legal documents such as retainer agreements, court filings (if applicable), and correspondence with your lawyer.

Since every case is different, keep any other documentation that you might need later.

Schedule a Legal Consultation

A consultation with a personal injury lawyer won’t cost you a dime, and they will almost certainly give you an honest evaluation. 

Because of the way personal injury lawyers charge for their services, they have no incentive to exaggerate the value of your claim. If they offer to represent you, it’s because they believe in your claim.

Investigate the Accident and Your Injuries

Let your lawyer handle this with your cooperation. Your lawyer will probably request your medical records from the hospital, for example, or speak with an expert about your case. 

Some of the critical evidence might be in the possession of the at-fault party or even a third party (cell phone records, for example, if the at-fault party was texting while driving).

Prove Negligence

Not every personal injury claim is based on negligence, but most are. To prove negligence, you need to prove the following elements of your claim:

  • The defendant owed you a duty of care.
  • The defendant breached their duty of care to you. 
  • You suffered a physical injury.
  • The defendant’s breach of duty caused the injury you suffered.
  • Your injury was a foreseeable consequence of the defendant’s negligence.

In many personal injury cases, only one or two of these elements will be at issue.

Begin Settlement Talks

If your claim is reasonably strong, the at-fault party (or their insurance company) is likely to prefer settlement to courtroom litigation. Let your lawyer do the negotiating for you because insurance adjusters are savvy negotiators.

File a Lawsuit 

You may or may not need to file a lawsuit. You certainly do, however, if the statute of limitations deadline is looming. In Illinois, for instance, you typically have until two years after an accident to file a personal injury lawsuit.

Attempt Mediation

If you have filed a lawsuit, the judge is likely to push for mediation. Even if not, participating in mediation might result in an otherwise unavailable settlement.

Go to Trial or Sign a Settlement Agreement

Statistically, the odds are good that you’ll end up settling your claim. Taking your claim to trial can delay the resolution of your claim. However, make sure your lawyer has a good reputation for winning at trial. 

Ironically, this reputation can keep you out of court, as it can encourage the opposing party to settle rather than face your lawyer in court.

Do You Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?

You don’t always need a lawyer to pursue a personal injury claim. If your claim is large or complex, however, the odds are good that you will end up better off with one than without one, even after you pay your legal fees. Don’t be shy about seeking a free consultation.

How To Make Sure You Get Compensated For Personal Injury in Las Vegas, NV

How To Make Sure You Get Compensated For Personal Injury in Las Vegas, NV

Las Vegas is not immune to accidents and personal injuries. Whether it’s a car accident on the Las Vegas Strip or a slip and fall in a crowded casino, you deserve to know how to ensure you get compensated for your damages

personal injury lawyer can assist with your claim and maximize your compensation. In the meantime, there are several points to remember as you navigate your path to recovery. Be sure to do the following: 

1. Seek Immediate Medical Attention

Your health is the top priority after an injury. You should seek medical attention as soon as possible. This is true even if you feel your injuries are minor or that you did not sustain injuries at all. Some injuries are difficult to detect, while others can take days or weeks to appear. A doctor can give you a medical evaluation to check for post-accident injuries.

Not only is this vital for your health, but a doctor’s record will also be crucial evidence in your case for compensation. Medical records help you show the extent of your injuries, prognosis, and treatment plan. They can also highlight the impact of injuries on your life. 

2. Document Everything

Documentation is evidence. Be sure to document every aspect of your accident and injury. This includes taking photos of the accident scene, keeping a diary of your physical and emotional challenges, saving medical bills, and tracking any lost wages from your injury. The more detailed your documentation, the stronger your case will be. 

Other important information to record includes:

  • The date and time of your injury
  • A detailed description of how your injury occurred
  • Names, contact details, and statements of any witnesses
  • Photographs of your injuries and the accident scene
  • Medication logs
  • Receipts for injury-related expenses, such as medical bills, transportation to medical appointments, and over-the-counter supplies

Thorough documentation is crucial. It will allow you to show the extent of your injuries and substantiate your compensation claim. 

3. Do Not Settle Too Quickly

Insurance companies are involved in paying compensation for many personal injury claims. Avoid settling too quickly if an insurance company is involved after your injury. A quick settlement may mean you take home less compensation than you deserve.

Understanding the full extent of your injuries and their long-term implications is important before agreeing to settle your case. A quick settlement may otherwise not cover all your future expenses, including medical costs, ongoing care, or lost earning capacity. This can inhibit your ability to recover fully from any accident or injury. 

4. Understand the Statute of Limitations For Your Personal Injury Lawsuit

The statute of limitations is the legal deadline by which you must file a lawsuit for personal injury. In Nevada, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is generally two years from the date of the injury (with some exceptions). 

You must file a lawsuit within this timeframe to ensure your claim is valid. Missing the deadline can result in losing your right to seek compensation. 

5. Hire an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer in Las Vegas, Nevada

Navigating personal injury law can be complex. An experienced Las Vegas personal injury attorney can help and significantly impact the outcome of your case. This includes the compensation you may be awarded. 

A skilled lawyer can gather and present evidence, handle negotiations with insurance companies, and represent you in any legal proceedings. 

Schedule a Free Consultation With a Las Vegas Personal Injury Lawyer

Suffering a personal injury in Las Vegas from someone’s negligence can be a traumatic and life-altering experience. Fortunately, many Las Vegas personal injury lawyers offer free consultations. A lawyer can help you understand your rights, document evidence, and pursue fair compensation for your injuries and losses.

How Long Do I Have To File a Personal Injury Claim After an Accident in Florida?

How Long Do I Have To File a Personal Injury Claim After an Accident in Florida?

Many assume that because Florida is a no-fault state for automobile insurance, they cannot sue a driver after a car accident. However, that is not entirely true. Florida’s insurance laws allow accident victims to file a personal injury claim after an accident in Florida if they sustain serious injuries and in other circumstances as well. However, the statute of limitations limits your time to file a personal injury claim after an accident in Florida. 

A team of experienced personal injury lawyers can help you determine the deadline for filing your personal injury claim in Florida. They can also advise you of your rights and legal options after an accident, helping you recover the maximum amount of compensation available. 

What Is a Statute of Limitations?

A statute of limitations is a law that limits the time you have to file a lawsuit or take legal action. In a car accident case, the statute of limitations sets the deadline for filing a lawsuit seeking damages. If you file your lawsuit after the deadline expires, a judge can dismiss the lawsuit even if you have a valid legal claim.

Statutes of limitations differ by state. Furthermore, there could be exceptions to the general statute of limitations for claims. Therefore, you must know what Florida laws apply in your personal injury case to determine how much time you have to file an injury claim after an accident in the state. 

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Cases in Florida?

Most car accident claims are based on negligence. The Florida statute of limitations for negligence-based claims was recently amended. As of March 24, 2023, the deadline to file a lawsuit for a car accident claim is two years from the accident date. 

However, if the car crash took place before March 24, 2023, the previous law should apply. In those cases, the deadline to file a lawsuit would be four years from the accident date.

It is important to note that exceptions to the statute of limitations could alter the filing deadline for a lawsuit. Furthermore, the parties involved in the case and other factors could impact the filing deadline for a personal injury claim. 

For example, if your car accident claim involves a government entity, you might have a different deadline. As another example, if the victim is a minor, the deadline could be extended. 

According to Mark Roman & John Austin, Tampa personal injury lawyers at Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers, “determining how long you have to file a personal injury claim after an accident can be complicated. You should not assume you have plenty of time to file a claim. Instead, it is better to seek legal advice as soon as possible after a car crash in Florida”. 

The Benefits of Taking Legal Action Quickly After an Accident

Two years sounds like more than enough time to file a personal injury claim after an accident. However, time is not on your side. You should act quickly to file a personal injury claim for several reasons, which include:

Preserve Evidence 

An accident victim has the burden of proving the elements of a negligence claim to win a personal injury claim for a car accident. Those elements are:

The burden of proof is by a preponderance of the evidence. You must convince jurors that there is at least a 50% chance that the other driver caused your car accident. The strength of your evidence is crucial to winning your case.

However, delaying a claim could result in evidence being lost or destroyed. The sooner you contact an attorney, the quicker the attorney can work to collect and preserve evidence.

Allow Your Attorney Time To Prepare

It takes time to investigate and gather evidence to file a personal injury claim. The more time the attorney has to prepare your case, the better. Waiting until the statute of limitations is about to expire may not give an attorney time to prepare a lawsuit. 

Contacting a personal injury lawyer early in the process gives them sufficient time to work on your case. With more time, the attorney may be able to negotiate a fair settlement to avoid the cost, stress, and time of litigation. 

Memories Fade and Change

Eyewitness testimony can be powerful evidence in a car accident case. However, a witness’s memory may fade over time. They may not remember key details about the accident. 

An attorney can obtain the witness’s testimony early in the process by conducting a deposition. A deposition is sworn testimony given outside of court. 

Receive Compensation Quicker

Most personal injury claims are settled through negotiations with the other party. Beginning the process now means you might receive your compensation quicker. 

Set Up a Free Consultation With a Personal Injury Lawyer

You may need additional time to recover after an accident. Hiring a personal injury lawyer allows you to focus on your recovery. Your attorney can handle all matters related to your claim, including monitoring the deadlines for filing your lawsuit appropriately and on time.