Resolving Legal Matters: What Are the 3 Stages of a Personal Injury Case?
Every year, more than 31 million people in the United States are injured in some kind of accident, with nearly two million of these injuries being severe enough to require some form of hospitalization, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, a department within the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Unfortunately, personal injury cases can be frustrating and confusing, especially if you have to recover from serious injuries. When it comes to resolving a personal injury case, there are three general stages to the personal injury case process.
Stage 1: After the Accident
Anytime there is a preventable accident where someone suffers harm because of someone else’s negligence, a personal injury claim begins. After you’ve been in an accident, it’s crucial for the victim to speak to a personal injury lawyer so they can better understand their rights. This also provides the victim with the opportunity to determine if there is a sufficient legal basis to pursue a case for compensation for the damages you’ve suffered. During this stage, many insurance companies will try to get in contact and work to minimize how much they will have to pay.
Stage 2: Investigation
When it is determined that you have a valid personal injury claim, your lawyer will begin to investigate the accident with your help and gather evidence. This is one of the essential stages in a personal injury case as the evidence and information that is collected during this time will support your claim that another person is at fault for your damages. Your lawyer, according to
Nolo, will do a thorough interview with you about how the accident happened, your background, your medical condition, and the treatment you received for your injuries. It is imperative that you answer all of their questions as thoroughly as you can. The investigation process is essential for determining the fault and liability of the accident, supporting your side of the story, and creating a solid strategy that will be needed to pursue a fair compensation amount.
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Stage 3: Resolution
Once the investigation is complete, and all the evidence has been gathered, the resolution stage of the claim can start. After you’ve completed any necessary medical treatment, or have recovered as well as you are able, the negotiations will begin between your lawyer and the insurance company. Your attorney will level the playing field between you and the insurance company by leveraging their experience and insight into how the insurance company operates to ensure you are provided with a fair settlement offer.
Often, insurance companies won’t offer you what you rightfully deserve. They will even try to contest some of the elements of the case, including their client’s liability. If this happens, it may be necessary for your case to go to trial, so a jury or judge can decide whether the defendant should be held liable for your damages. Having a tried and true trial attorney during this stage of the process is critical for a successful outcome.
Being injured due to someone else’s negligence can be downright frustrating. Understanding the three primary stages of a personal injury case can help you get started to receiving the compensation that you deserve.