Back in the day, any kind of accidental injury involving two parties was resolved on the spot. The person who was to blame would shell out the required cash for tending to the injuries of the other. However, as you may have guessed, that direct one-on-one exchange hardly ever ended amicably, for each party claimed that the other was more to blame. Thus, the urge to take the legal route became more and more apparent, eventually leading to the mandatory reporting of an accidental injury to receive compensation.
These days, you cannot simply resolve a personal injury (PI) issue on the spot. It is illegal and may lead to long-term incarceration. Going through the legal court proceedings to gain or pay a PI compensation may take a while, but it generally ends up being a win-win situation. The injured plaintiff gets exactly what he/she is owed, and the defendant doesn’t need to disburse more than they might have done otherwise. So without further ado, let’s find out how to file a compensation claim after an injury.
Rush to a Nearby Hospital
You are injured for crying out loud, and so you need to be thinking about your health as a priority rather than focusing immediately on compensation. Head to the nearest hospital where you have insurance coverage, heal, and rest for a while. There is usually a three-year limit to claiming PI compensation, so do rest easy.
For those of you who care about money more than your personal health, here’s a major reason why you should visit a hospital first: wounds tend to fester, cuts result in infections, and excess blood loss can lead to potentially fatal diseases. Your PI compensation won’t cover the higher medical charges incurred due to negligence. They will need to come out of your own pocket.
Determine if You Need a PI Attorney
You will have a lot of time on your hands at the hospital to consider whether you can fight a PI case on your own or if you will need an attorney. Cases like hit-and-run or those with minor injuries can be easily dealt with single-handed. However, a commendable opinion held by Craig, Kelley & Faultless personal injury attorneys states that you may need help with complicated cases. Those include the ones where the fault may lie on either end and both the parties are heavily injured. Getting the best compensation out of such cases requires a better understanding of the law.
Prepare for the Lawsuit
If you have done your research, then you may know that only about 5% of PI compensation cases go to trial. The rest are settled before the jury’s verdict is reached. However, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t prepare for the trial itself. Let’s say that you don’t have the proper documentation, evidence, and witnesses that could conceivably strengthen your PI case. Even if the other person is entirely to blame, the defendant will still proceed to trial given that you have nothing to show for being the victim; and he/she may even win the case!
Hence, it is critical to prepare for the lawsuit to the best of your ability. Your PI lawyer may generally gather everything required, but just in case it falls on you, here are a few important things to consider:
Under normal circumstances, witnesses will reach out to you on their own. Just to be sure, note down the names and phone numbers of all the bystanders. Plus, there may be CCTV cameras around that may have captured the incident in great detail. Ask for a copy of the footage.
Flawless evidence can usually be acquired from the hospital. Ensure to collect the medical receipts, doctor’s reports, etc. before filing the compensation claim. Additionally, don’t forget to capture photos of the damaged property, if any, and gather the necessary reports from an expert regarding the same.
- Other Documentation
This includes everything else that may be required for the court proceedings, right from your ID to your insurance receipts and law enforcement reports.
Once you have all the necessary paperwork in place, leave the rest to your PI attorney. After glancing over the evidence, the defendant will usually come up with an out-of-court settlement offer. The two attorneys may haggle over the compensation for a while before settling for the optimum amount. If you think it neither covers your expenses nor makes up for your trouble, don’t hesitate to move ahead with the lawsuit. The defendant may eventually give in to your required compensation claim, and if he/she doesn’t, then the jury will definitely rule in your favor if you provide sufficient evidence to support your claim.