Steps to Filing a Personal Injury Claim

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Time spent after being injured in any kind of accident can be very stressful, especially if have to be out of work for an extended period of time, you have see doctors, etc. The most important thing after an accident, is to look after your own health and wellbeing. Though we do recommend consulting with an attorney right after your accident, you may not always be ready to file a claim for your injuries right away – which is understandable. But when you are ready, here are the first steps is making a personal injury claim.

A Few Things to Know

These following steps are valid in most (if not all) situations after an accident and there is not “correct” or “right” order in which they should be completed.

  • Collect any necessary evidence that can point to who or what was the cause of the accident. Record and damage, in the form or photographs if/when necessary.
  • Record everything that has happened since the accident, this may include the following:
    • any visits to the doctors and/or hospital
    • all medical bills
    • loss of work and/or wages
  • Be sure to collect the names and any contact information of any witnesses to the accident.
    • contact witnesses after in order to confirm their contact information
  • After speaking to others involved in the accident, make sure to record any notes on the conversations had.
  • If you are planning on filing a suit, make sure to tell whomever you are filing against that you are planning on filing a claim for the injuries you have sustained and any property damaged that may have occurred.
    • If you are planning on filing a claim, there is not necessarily a time limit in which you have to notify the person of your intention to file a lawsuit. Acting quickly and efficiently will increase the chances of resolving your claim faster than if you decide to wait.
      • Note: keep in mind that just because you notify people of your intent to file, this does not mean that you absolutely have to file a lawsuit. By giving them notice, you preserve your rights and prevent other parties involved from defending against a suit by arguing that you waited too long to inform them of your injuries. Notifying others ensures that you can speed up the negotiation process in regards to settlement at your own speed.
  • Settling your personal injury claim can be time consuming for everyone involved, which is why it is advised that you file your claim in a timely manner. Check with the statutes of limitations in your state to see how long you have until you cannot make a claim.
    • If the time period to file a claim passes, you may be prevented from bringing a suit in order to recover for your injuries.

Filing a Claim Against the Government

Filing a claim against a government entity or employee can be a little more complicated. Depending on your case and the state you live in, the time period to file your claim usually ranges between 30 days to one year after the incident. If you do not abide by the state guidelines, you may lose your right to recover compensation for injuries and/or property damage.

Remember that you don’t have to do any of this alone. Getting into an accident can be stressful enough as it is without having to deal with trying to file a claim on your own. Hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer can help make the process easier for you.

If you have been injured and are in need of a personal injury attorney, contact us to discuss your case today. Consultations are free.

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