If you’ve been injured in an accident that was due to the negligence on someone’s else’s part, it can be devastating financially, from the stacks of medical bills to lost wages. While every personal injury case is different, and there isn’t just one way it should be handled, one of the first things you’ll need to do is find an attorney in your area that has experience with your particular situation. For example, a medical malpractice attorney in Pittsburgh can help if unnecessary surgery was performed on you, there were surgical errors, a misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose a condition, among many other circumstances.
Car accidents are the most common types of personal injury cases in the U.S., and a careless driver is typically held financially responsible for injuries that occur due to their own recklessness.
No matter what type of accident you were involved in, these are generally the steps you need to take to receive compensation.
Discuss the Case with a Personal Injury LawyerOnce you’ve chosen an attorney to handle your case, he or she will ask you questions such as the extent and severity of the injuries you’ve suffered, your medical expenses, and whether there was negligence on someone else’s part involved. Be sure that you keep all records related to the accident, such as medical records, law enforcement reports, insurance company details, and receipts so that they can be used as evidence.
Claim InvestigationThe next step after going over all your legal options is for the claim to be thoroughly investigated. The lawyer will review all your relevant information and may also consult with experts to obtain professional opinions, as well as consider the possible defenses for the other party or parties involved to determine their liability.
Settlement DemandIf your attorney determines that your claim is valid, a demand for settlement will be issued to the defendant, outlining the claim, liability, and damages you’re seeking such as lost wages, medical expenses, injuries, pain and suffering, and future medical expenses. Those demands will then be reviewed by the other party’s lawyer who will accept it, reject it, or make a counteroffer. Negotiations typically follow afterward until a settlement is reached or personal injury lawsuit is filed. Most claims are negotiated and settled outside of court.
Mediation and TrialIf there is a trial, both sides will have to share their evidence with the opposing counsel so that each can evaluate the other side’s case. A mediation may be order prior to the trial to see if an acceptable agreement can be reached first. If the case still isn’t settled after that, a trial will be held with a judge, and sometimes a jury, hearing arguments from both sides, looking at the evidence and ultimately determining fault and awarding damages. Usually, it takes between four to seeks weeks to complete the settlement process and for you to receive financial compensation, but it varies on a case-by-case basis.
Tizzy Says…if you don’t know, now you know.
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