Have you experienced an accident? Navigating the legal process after an injury can be challenging. In this discussion, we look at how the process works, what you need to know when you’ve been hurt and the importance of having an experienced personal injury attorney on your side.
When you or a loved one suffers an injury due to the negligence of another party, such as a property owner or a driver, the next steps are often unclear. There is a great deal of emotional turmoil to contend with — after all, an accident can turn a life upside down in just seconds. When the realities of the financial impact begin to set in as well, it can leave you wondering what to do next.
Understanding how the personal injury claim process works can help you develop a sense of what you can do. You may have legal options available to you to seek compensation to offset losses created by your accident. Let’s review a basic overview of how the process unfolds.
Determining Whether You Can Pursue a Claim Following an Injury
Obviously, you must first suffer an injury to be able to file any kind of claim. In addition, before you can pursue a civil claim, you must be able to demonstrate that the negligence of someone else likely caused the injury. For example, a drunk driver who causes an accident with serious injuries may be held liable for the harm caused due to their negligent operation of the vehicle. It may not always be easy to prove this negligence, which leads us to the next step.
Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney
When you believe you may have a case, you should seek out a qualified personal injury law firm to handle your case. For example, if you’ve been involved in a car accident, you will want to work with a car accident attorney that has the experience that you need to navigate your legal matter. During a consultation, your attorney will assess the facts of your case and help you determine whether there is a valid claim worth pursuing in your situation. If you come to an agreement that you should move forward, you will retain the attorney, and they will take over the case for you.
Initial Negotiations Begin
The next step usually involves the issuance of a demand letter to the negligent party’s insurance company. In some cases, the letter may go to the individual themselves, but most often, their insurer will be responsible for their defense. It is sometimes possible to reach a settlement agreement during this early phase, but insurers will often provide “lowball” amounts that may not be what you deserve.
Filing a Complaint
If no agreement has been reached yet, your attorney will assist you in filing a civil complaint against the negligent party. In other words, you will need to sue the negligent party to recover for your injuries. This step often triggers a flurry of activity, offering other opportunities to explore a settlement.
The Pre-Trial Discovery Phase
If you and the other parties cannot reach a settlement agreement, then the case will continue to proceed to the discovery phase. This evidence gathering process takes place on both sides of the case and serves as the factual basis for the trial. Once the discovery phase concludes, a trial may begin.
Litigating Your Case
Your attorney will represent you in court, making a case for the damages that you deserve. You may have a jury trial or a bench trial held by the judge. Ultimately, the court will decide what kind of compensation you should receive, if any.
Equipping Yourself With a Better Chance for Success
No matter the kind of accident you’ve had, good representation can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. At HHJ Trial Attorneys, we take our responsibilities to clients seriously, providing every case with the personalized attention it deserves. Treating our clients with compassion and respect, we aggressively pursue every potential avenue for a positive outcome in your situation. To find out more, please schedule a consultation with our offices today.
Testimonial from Dylan, Car Accident Victim
When my family was affected by an auto accident, I reached out to HHJ Trial Attorneys. I learned they were highly recommended and respected amongst their peers. HHJ treated my family as their own from the very beginning. From start to finish they maintained constant communication with us and ensured we were in good care. I don’t wish anyone ever has to experience a hardship of which attorneys are needed, but if you do I strongly encourage you to call HHJ.