When you’re the victim of a personal injury due to someone’s negligence, you deserve compensation. The problem is, sometimes sustaining injuries isn’t enough to win a lawsuit.
If you’ve been hurt in an accident, you might be asking yourself, “Is my case strong enough to win”? Well, we’ll answer that question and explain the personal injury lawsuit timeline below. Read on to learn more.
Do I Have a Personal Injury Case?
There are a few telltale signs that will give you a clue as to whether you have a substantial injury lawsuit case.
Lawsuit settlements are challenging to win, especially when you don’t have the right elements to build your case. Here are a few signs that you have a strong claim.
- You’ve Sustained Severe Injuries
Severe accidents have the potential to ruin your life and create major problems in your present life and future. You never know what kind of care you will require down the line after suffering severe injuries. This is especially true if the injuries are irreversible.
The doctor will talk with medical experts to estimate what type of regular care services you may require.
You don’t realize how much money you’ll need to pay existing and future medical costs if you decide to withdraw your right to a lawyer. So it’s best to hire legal counsel.
On the other hand, cases of personal injuries vary from a few thousand dollars to multi-million dollar settlements. Most of the time, when serious injuries are sustained, that’s grounds for a monetary settlement.
- A Faulty Part Caused Your Injury
Claims for product liability are nuanced. There are three distinct categories of product liability that can cause an injury: failure to alert, defective or potentially unsafe product construction, or design flaws in the product.
It’s best to hire a lawyer in order to examine your claim and create a solid argument. If you are hurt due to the negligence of a company and its faulty products, that’s grounds for a strong case.
- Questionable Liability
Oftentimes, in order to avoid paying the claimant, the insurance provider will work desperately to try and discredit a lawsuit. This is usually done with regard to liability.
Although it can appear evident who is at fault in a case, going against the insurance provider may be a hassle. Before the insurance is willing to pay a settlement amount, they’ll do their best to prove that your injuries were due to your negligence.
But if you have solid evidence that debunks any alternate claims made by the insurance, you have a great chance of winning your case.
- Not Receiving a Fair Settlement
If you file a claim with the insurance company and they offer you a small settlement, that doesn’t mean you have to accept it. Many people are cheated when it comes to receiving compensation from the insurance provider.
But if you have medical documentation proving that you sustained severe injuries or lost wages, that’s grounds for a successful personal injury lawsuit.
Just keep in mind that the process of hiring an attorney and taking the case to court could get expensive. If you only owe $2,000 for your expenses and you didn’t experience lost wages, it may not be worth it to force the case. You have to weigh the pros and cons.
Let’s say your medical bills are $3,000 and the insurance company offered you $4,500. That’s an acceptable amount depending on the other expenses that you incurred.
The Personal Injury Lawsuit Timeline
Before you file a claim, it’s important to understand the personal injury lawsuit timeline. Here’s what it entails.
Get Medical Attention
After an injury, your first step is to seek medical attention. Doing so starts a documented record of your medical injuries. If you have a slip and fall or any other type of accident, it’s imperative that you go to the hospital—even if you don’t have symptoms.
Sometimes symptoms don’t fully develop until days or weeks down the line. It can substantially hurt your case if you seek medical attention a long period after the initial incident.
Doing so provides the insurance adjuster with the ammunition to claim that your injuries aren’t serious. They’ll say that if you were actually hurt, you would have gone to the hospital on the first day of your accident.
Call an Attorney
Your next step is to file a personal injury claim. When you’ve been hurt—especially due to the negligence of someone else—you need an attorney on your side. Chances are, you’ll endure a big fight against the insurance company that’s challenging to win alone.
In most incidents involving injuries, the victim racks up large medical bills and barely gets any settlement money. Therefore, you should always contact a lawyer when you’re hurt.
Not only will they help you through the entire case, but they’ll consult with you on the front end. They’ll also be able to coach you on how to handle the insurance provider.
For instance, sometimes the insurance company will use your words against you. Therefore, you should leave all communication with the insurance adjuster to your attorney. You never want to get caught in the middle of the fight and say or do anything to ruin your case.
If you are someone who needs legal counsel, check out this personal injury lawyer.
The next step in the personal injury lawsuit timeline is the review. After you receive legal counsel, the attorney will spend a significant amount of time looking over your claim and finding ways to build it up.
They’ll also interview you to get all of the details of your claim. Lawyers never like to be caught off guard when it comes to their cases. They like to hear every detail.
The reason being is because as they’re defending you, they are combating against the insurance company. If at any point you go to court, they’ll want all of their ducks in a row with no surprises.
Communication With the Insurance Company
After your case has been reviewed, the attorney will reach out to the insurance company. During this phase of the personal injury lawsuit timeline, they’ll negotiate on your behalf.
Once they figure out how many wages you’ve lost, how many expenses you’ve incurred, and your medical expenses, they’ll make a demand based on that.
The good thing about hiring a lawyer is that they know the ins and outs of how the process goes.
Having them work on your half significantly increases your chances of getting a fair settlement—as opposed to communicating with the insurance providers yourself.
File a Lawsuit
Most of the time, injury claims settle before they go to court. Therefore, the lawsuit is never filed. If the attorney feels they can get a fair settlement amount on the front end, they’ll do so.
However, experienced lawyers wait until the maximum medical improvement has been reached. The maximum medical improvement is when the plaintiff has completed all of their medical treatment.
MMI gives the attorney the information they need to know exactly how much the case is worth. his is a smart move because if the case settles too early, you may get the short end of the stick. The jury might undervalue the claim because they are basing the settlement on your current medical condition.
However, anything can happen before the treatment ends.
Discovery Phase and Mediation
During the discovery phase, both sides of the party review the other’s claims and defenses. They document one another’s requests and hold depositions for all relevant parties and witnesses. Sometimes this process can last six months to a year.
After the discovery, mediation begins for negotiating a settlement amount.
If mediation doesn’t work, the case goes to trial. Court trials could last a day or for an extended period of time. If there’s a severe injury involved and the settlement amount is high, then trials last longer.
Not only that but sometimes court dates get pushed back, which also prolongs compensation. But during this final phase of the personal injury lawsuit timeline, the settlement amount is decided upon for the plaintiff.
Winning Personal Injury Lawsuits
Personal injury cases are a bit challenging. However, the best way to win is by hiring an attorney and following the personal injury lawsuit timeline. They’ll fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
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