If you have been harmed in an accident due to someone else’s reckless actions, you have the option of filing a personal injury claim. For instance, you may sue a negligent driver who hit your car and caused you injuries. Or, you may file a lawsuit against someone whose dog attacked you.
However, the last thing you want to do is deal with all the details in a long, drawn-out court case. Yet again, filing a personal injury claim is your ticket to recovering the compensation you deserve.
8 Things to Know Before Filing a Personal Injury Case
Here are a few important things you should keep in mind when deciding whether to file a personal injury case.
1. Personal injury covers both physical and mental suffering
Personal injury is a term used in tort law to refer to cases resulting in physical injuries and mental distress due to other people’s negligence. It covers injuries caused to a movable property rather than immovable property.
Some examples of personal injury claims include the following:
- car accident
- bicycle accident
- pedestrian accident
- slip and fall claim
- dog bite claim
- flying umbrella accident
- brain injury claim
2. Injuries sustained in a personal injury accident can be compensated
Injuries in a personal injury accident can be compensated by filing a claim. Hiring a lawyer to represent you can be beneficial in this aspect, as their experience and expertise in the field can help ensure that you get reasonable compensation.
An attorney can also guide you throughout the process, from determining the types of damages you are entitled to and negotiating compensation to securing a settlement check.
3. Personal injury cases can be settled in or out of court
Your case can be settled in one of two ways: pre-litigation or litigation. In pre-litigation, the case is resolved without filing a lawsuit or arbitration action in court. This is also called an out-of-court settlement. Meanwhile, litigation involves filing a claim in court where the issue is resolved through legal proceedings.
Generally, personal injury cases going to court are rare, with only 4% of the claims proceeding to trial each year. These are typically high-value cases that need court intervention to settle.
4. There is a statute of limitations for a personal injury claim
Under California law, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim. However, if you didn’t notice the injury immediately, you have a year from the date of discovery to pursue a claim. As soon as you discover your injury, be sure to talk to a personal injury attorney to avoid missing the deadline.
5. Some personal injury cases take time to settle
Some personal injury cases can be a bit complicated. As such, depending on the circumstances surrounding it, you can expect them to be resolved in several months or even years.
If a case can’t be resolved during pre-litigation, it has to go through several stages of litigation, including discovery, deposition-taking, mediation, and trial. Insurance companies may also intentionally draw out the process to entice you to take a lower offer. See how a personal injury case unfolds in this visual walk-through.
6. Insurance companies don’t have your best interests in mind
Many people reach out to their insurance provider immediately after suffering an accident. This is a mistake because insurance companies aren’t on your side as much as you think. They will try to minimize the amount they can pay so they can earn more profits.
This is why it’s important to consult an attorney before negotiating with an insurance company. A personal injury lawyer understands how the process works, and they can guide you in filing a claim with your or the other driver’s insurance provider.
7. Every personal injury case is different
No two personal injury cases are alike. Each claim is unique because the circumstances vary. For instance, a victim’s injuries may be minor in one case, while they may have sustained deep wounds in the other. Also, there are different types of personal injury claims, and victims have preferences on how they want to settle the case, whether in or out of court.
8. Experienced personal injury lawyers can help you recover more
Consider working with an attorney if this is your first time filing a personal injury case. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you understand the nature of your case and guide you in navigating the process.
They can also negotiate with the other party and insurance company on your behalf so you can secure the compensation you deserve. Moreover, they can obtain relevant documents such as medical records and police reports to strengthen your claim.
Get the Compensation You Deserve with a Personal Injury Lawyer
Pursuing a personal injury case can be complex. As such, before filing one, it’s crucial that you’re acquainted with the basics of the process, its timeline, and your legal options to guarantee a favorable outcome.
If you’ve been involved in an accident and need a personal injury attorney in Orange County to work your case, reach out to us at RMD Law. We have a team of experienced personal injury lawyers ready for the tireless representation you deserve. Contact us today for a free case evaluation!