There has been a significant rise in the number of personal injury claims being filed over the last decade, yet many people are still unsure about whether or not they should claim and precisely how to go about it. With TV and media bombarding us everyday with advertisements for claim handling firms and personal injury lawyers, it can be very confusing and difficult to know who to turn to let alone start the claims process.
To suffer an injury through no fault of your own can lead to life changing circumstances and it is your right to claim compensation for all losses incurred. Filing a claim does not need to be difficult and a good lawyer will minimise the amount of stress and inconvenience to you during the process. That said, if a claim has any chance of success you will need to provide plenty of information before it can proceed. Below are three steps to filing your claim and getting the compensation you are entitled to:
It maybe the last thing on your mind following an accident but any claim will need to include details of the circumstances of the accident, who was present, where it happened and the order of events. As soon as you are able, or can appoint someone to do it for you, you need to answer the following questions:
- · How did the accident occur?
- · How were you injured?
- · Were there any witnesses?
- · Was the accident the result of someone else’s negligence?
- · When did the accident occur, date and time?
- · What injuries did you sustain?
- · Where you treated for your injuries?
- · If the accident occurred at work have you lost wages as a result?
- · Have you suffered any other losses because of the accident?
Insurance companies will want answers to all of these questions in order to begin proceeding with your claim and the more information you can provide them with the better, this includes any photographic evidence and witness testimonies you may be able to gather. The sooner you can do this the better as it ensures vital information or evidence is not forgotten or lost over time.
There can be time constraints applied to personal injury claims and it is generally advised that you should file your claim as soon as possible following an accident. If you are unable to do this yourself then you can appoint someone to represent you in all matters relating to the claim and with whom lawyers and insurance companies can correspond.
Before you even consider filing any paperwork it is advaisable to consult with a specialist personal injury lawyer about your claim. You are entitled to handle the process yourself without any legal help from an attorney, however as Baton Rouge personal injury attorney Jarrett Ambeau points out, succesful claims do rely on hiring a personal injury attorney with the necessary experience and resources needed to handle the challenge of what is a complex area of law.
As mentioned before there are a large number of personal injury claims firms out there but not all will have the experience (or the will) to get you the full compensation you deserve. Many will seek to process your claim as quickly as possible and will therefore tell claimants to settle for amounts far below what they are actually entitled to. An experienced lawyer however will always work with your best interests at heart and will negotiate on your behalf for a full and fair settlement figure. If negotiations with insurance companies fail then they should be prepared to take your claim to trial.
Finding a lawyer is not difficult but you do need to find a lawyer with experience of personal injury claims and because not all claims are the same you should look for someone who has experience of your particular accident and/or injuries. Try asking friends or family for recommendations or approach your local bar association for a referral.
Your initial meeting with any lawyer should be free of charge and will enable you to discuss your claim and the likely outcome of any claim. No lawyer can guarantee a successful claim or guarantee the exact amount of compensation but they can advise you as to the likely success of a claim and whether it is worth pursuing.
The process of claiming compensation following an accident can be long and fraught with difficulties. The more information you are able to provide the better as well as moving to make a claim as soon as possible following an accident. Hiring a lawyer will ensure you have someone on your side who not only knows the law as it relates to your particular claim, but who will also work with your best interests at heart, leaving you to continue your recovery.
Article written by Georgina Clatworthy, a freelance author and editor of well respected legal website 1lawyersource. She is not associated with Jarrett Ambeau Law but can recommend them as experienced Baton Rouge personal injury attornies.