Serious injuries are relatively rare, but when they come, they inflict a heavy load of stress. In addition to physical agony, a nasty car crash or work accident can cause emotional distress and financial constraints, some of which may last for years after you make a full recovery.
On the bright side, you don’t have to bear the full weight of an injury yourself. If you know or suspect that someone else is responsible for causing your accident, filing a personal injury claim may be the step that gets your life back on track.
That said, personal injury cases can be a pickle to maneuver through successfully. Below are five crucial things to keep in mind when getting your case together.
1.- The Deadline
In most personal injury cases, a plaintiff has a limited period, usually one to three years, within which to initiate claim proceedings. This period, known as the statute of limitations, begins when the injury occurs or when you discover it. Although a year may seem like a long time, serious injuries often result in prolonged recovery periods and extensive rehabilitation periods, which can take over as your primary focus.
If you’re thinking of filing a claim, stay vigilant of the time limit and file as soon as you can. Remember, the more you wait, the more time you give the opposing side to undermine your case.
2.- Your Lawyer
Finding a good lawyer is critical in a personal injury claim. The right injury law specialist will know what moves to make and how to make them get the most out of the case. Take your time to research and make inquiries to identify the firm that will be best for your claim.
Ideally, you’ll want to go for an attorney that specializes in personal injury claims and offers all the legal services you need. Also, request for some of their previous cases which were similar to yours, so that you can be sure to enlist a firm with an impressive success history.
3.- Insurance Companies
Following your injury, representatives from the insurance company of the party responsible will be the first to visit you. They may try to convince you that what they’re offering is to your benefit, but in truth, their primary interest is protecting their bottom lines.
Although you might be in dire need of the money, blindly signing on the dotted line may lead to financial adversity in the long run, especially if your injury leaves you temporarily unable to work. Before agreeing to a settlement, therefore, make sure you’re getting the best offer for your claim. A representative from a firm like accidentandinjurylawgroup.com can help a great deal if you’re in doubt.
4.- The Discovery Process
During the discovery period, both you and the defendant will proceed to gather all the information surrounding the case. The process can be lengthy, but it is essential that you collect and get ready to present every relevant detail regarding your injury.
Your attorney can offer some much-needed assistance with the process, but ensure you remain completely transparent with them to enable them to build a solid case and avoid costly surprises.
5.- Contingent Fees
Nobody can ever prepare adequately for an injury. So, when it happens, it’s understandable not to have the money for a lawyer, especially when medical bills are mounting by the minute. Thankfully, most personal injury attorneys work on contingent fees. That means agreeing to take a fixed percentage of what you recover from your claim as payment, and therefore getting nothing if you lose the case.
A contingent-fee arrangement can be an attractive option if you’re not entirely confident in your claim. If you reckon you have a good chance of winning, however, paying your lawyer hourly may end up being far more rewarding than parting with a chunk of the recovered money.
Winning a personal injury claim can make your recovery process significantly easier, but that will only happen if you know everything there is to know about your case.