Everyday, we place ourselves in potentially dangerous situations but most of us never have a problem with major accidents or need to consider a personal injury claim. From driving in our cars, to walking along an icy sidewalk, we live our lives as we should, focused on our priorities, rather than fearing the unknown.
But if you do get injured in an accident or as a result of a slip and fall, for example, knowing your legal rights and what steps you should take is important. Read on to learn more practical information about the steps you should take if you’ve been injured.
Fault and Negligence
Before you can determine how to proceed with any type of legal action, you must first understand the concept of negligence.
Negligence is the failure to use reasonable care. Combined with causation of injury, these two concepts help determine if you have a case against another individual, or business entity.
Determine if an Insurance Policy Will Cover Your Injury
When you are injured and have expenses to cover, like medical bills or lost wages, it is helpful to know if the person or entity responsible for your injury has insurance coverage. Their insurance coverage, like vehicle insurance or property insurance, is what would be called upon to help cover your expenses, but consider this:
- If you have very minor injuries, you might be better off trying to resolve that your own with the insurance company to help reduce costs. On very minor injuries, there is not a lot that an attorney has to work with to do a better job resolving your case than you could do on your own.
- Filing a lawsuit against someone with no insurance means your ability to collect damages may be difficult unless they have other assets available.
- If your injuries are significant and it is clear the other party is at fault, regardless of their insurance coverage, you should consider legal action.
Consider Hiring a Lawyer
For very simple accidents with very minor injuries or repairs required, you might be able to reach a satisfactory result on your own over the phone with your own insurance company and with the insurance company of the individual or entity at fault.
But keep in mind, insurance companies are in business to make money. Their job is to offer you the lowest possible reimbursements and settlements in the hopes that you’ll accept. In some cases the offers are fair, but it is in your best interest to consult with an attorney.
When you seek out an attorney, you will be given the opportunity to have a free case consultation, where you can discuss your case, at no charge. This will allow you to have your questions answered and it will allow the lawyer to determine if you case has merit. In most attorney-client relationships, the attorneys work on a contingency basis, meaning they only get a fee if they settle the case or get a judgment in your favor in the courtroom.
Here are some additional articles that can help you find the right attorney for your case:
- How to find a personal injury attorney
- Questions your should ask when you interview personal injury attorneys
Consider Settlement or Filing a Lawsuit
When you’ve decided you’d like to proceed with a claim against another individual or entity, these are the steps you’ll likely follow:
- Hire an attorney.
- File a third-party claim against the insurance company of the individual or entity at fault. This starts with a demand letter indicating the basis for your claim and the damages you suffered. This occurs after you have finished medical treatment so that we know the extent of your damages.
From here, any number of things can happen, the insurance company may make an offer or you may have to pursuit a claim. To learn more about these steps, you can read these helpful articles:
- The 4 Steps Involved In Discovery For A Personal Injury Case
- What Are The Steps To Reach Settlement In A Personal Injury Case?
- Top 5 Questions and Answers About Mediation in a Personal Injury Case
Keep in mind there are statutes of limitation for all types of personal injury cases. Learn if your case is still within the statute of limitation by reading this article.
If you are looking for a lawyer, consider filling out a free case evaluation and talking with an attorney today. You’ll see the difference when you have the opportunity to talk directly with an expert.
At Murphy & Prachthauser, we practice the law the way it should be practiced – motivated and equipped to do our best for you. We take pride in being good lawyers who help people.
If you have a case you would like to speak to a lawyer about, please contact us to schedule a free consultation and get an experienced team working on your behalf.