Were you injured because of another person’s negligence? Cases like this usually involve auto accidents, slip-and-fall incidents, medical malpractice cases, and others. If you find yourself in this situation, it may be time to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation for your injuries and damages.
After experiencing several thousands of dollars in medical costs and lost wages, this is a solution you may need to consider. You should not have to suffer physically and financially because of someone else’s negligence.
Unfortunately, the personal injury claim process can seem daunting. While this is true, the more educated you are about the process, the less daunting and stressful it will be. At the Law Offices of Matthew C. Hines, we will help you with the process and ensure you receive a fair personal injury settlement.
The Accident and Injury Occurs
No one expects this situation to occur. Even if you are aware of the dangers around you, it’s still sudden and unexpected when an accident occurs. The accident will likely be stressful and can cause serious injuries and damage. While this is true, you still need to think about what you need to do next.
After an accident, you need to try to collect evidence of what happened. The evidence you gather will play an important role in helping you recover financial compensation.
It’s not a good idea to make a formal statement about the accident or what happened until you speak to your personal injury lawyer. They will ensure you don’t say something that may hurt your personal injury claim payout.
Get Medical Attention Immediately
After being involved in an accident, make sure you seek medical treatment right away. Not all injuries will be obvious, especially if you were involved in a traumatic incident.
Right after an accident occurs, it’s not unusual to experience shock. This is how your body eliminates pain and helps you get out of a potentially dangerous situation.
Take photos of any injuries you sustained, especially bruises, scrapes, and cuts, since these heal as time passes. Even if you don’t think you are injured, you should be checked out by a doctor or EMT.
Consult with a Personal Injury Attorney
You may think this step is “jumping the gun” a bit. However, it is best to contact a personal injury attorney as early in the process as possible. Asking for advice will ensure you don’t take a settlement that isn’t fair for the injuries you sustained.
After hiring an attorney, they will investigate your claim and review your case. Part of this investigation is to interview you to determine what happened. Your attorney will also learn about your background and any medical issues you may have had before the accident occurred.
At this point, you need to make sure you tell your attorney everything. Their job is to help you get the biggest settlement possible; however, it may not be possible if you aren’t completely honest with them.
File an Insurance Claim or Demand a Settlement
Most personal injury cases are settled before going to court. Your attorney can provide advice about if you should settle through personal injury mediation or take your case to court.
It’s important to note that some law firms in Atlanta take on many cases and accept low settlement offers. This is done to maximize their profits. However, a quality attorney, like the ones at our law firm, are not afraid to go to court to help you get the compensation you deserve.
File a Personal Injury Lawsuit
If it is impossible to reach a fair settlement agreement with the other party’s insurance company, then you can move forward and file a personal injury lawsuit. In Georgia, you have just two years from the date of the incident to file a claim. If you don’t meet this time limit, you will lose your right to do this.
Not all cases will require you to file a lawsuit. However, there are some situations where this is the only thing an insurance company will respond to. If you take this step, you may receive a fair settlement offer and still be able to avoid going to court.
The Discovery Process
Discovery occurs when both parties investigate the other side’s defenses and claims. Your attorney will take steps to gather evidence and build a case to show why you deserve a settlement offer and why you deserve the amount being requested.
During discovery, you will be interviewed with the other party, witnesses, and anyone else involved.
Mediation or Arbitration
After discovery, most attorneys will try to reach a settlement. This is referred to as alternative dispute resolution. In many cases, this is an effective way to get a fair compensation amount for your situation. However, it’s not always successful.
Personal Injury Trial
If you cannot reach a settlement amount, your case will continue to trial. Your attorney will present evidence for you, and the other party’s attorney will do the same. At the end of the trial, a judge or jury will determine the outcome. Most people want to avoid going to trial because it is expensive, can take a long time, and there’s no guarantee you will get the desired outcome.
Contact Our Legal Team for Help with Your Personal Injury Claim
Have you filed a personal injury claim? Do you need help with the legal process? If so, contact our legal team at the Law Offices of Matthew C. Hines today. You can schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your legal needs and for us to determine if we can help with your case.
You deserve to receive compensation if you experience an injury because of someone else.