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How to File a Personal Injury Claim

How to File a Personal Injury ClaimPhoto by Kindel Media

After experiencing a personal injury, it is often in your best interest to work with a New York personal injury lawyer. But having a clear understanding of the legal processes involved in filing a personal injury lawsuit can help you know what to expect throughout the claims process.

Below, I’ll tell you more about the steps involved in filing a personal injury claim so you’re prepared.

Steps to File a Personal Injury Claim

1. Seek Medical Attention

If you’ve been injured in an accident, your first step is to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Even if your injuries don’t seem severe, you should seek medical treatment right away to help ensure that you don’t have any hidden injuries, or injuries that could worsen over time. This information will be essential to properly valuing your medical expenses with insurers so you can receive coverage for all your medical bills.

Getting prompt medical attention can also prevent additional issues with insurance companies. If you wait to seek care, the door is left open to insurers to claim that your injuries were not caused by the accident in question. Make sure to keep all records, including appointment times, medical evaluations, or treatment prescribed (including medications).

These will be key to receiving the full compensation you need to recover.

2. Gather Evidence

To file a personal injury claim, you’ll need to gather evidence to support your case. This may include photographs of the accident scene and your injuries, cell phone videos of the area or the accident, eyewitness statements, medical records (as mentioned above), and any other documentation related to the accident. If you work with New York personal injury lawyers, they can relieve a significant amount of stress by helping you with the evidence-gathering process.

3. Consult With an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

Technically, you can file a claim without a lawyer, but there are a number of reasons to consider having legal counsel on hand. At this stage in the process, an experienced personal injury lawyer can assess your case, determine whether you have a valid claim, and provide insight into how to proceed with that claim.

It is also essential that you work with a New York personal injury lawyer with expertise relevant to your case. For example, Buttafuoco & Associates has attorneys working in a number of practice areas, including slip and falls, vehicle accidents, product liability, mass tort cases, medical malpractice, workplace accidents, and wrongful death.

As the legal process moves forward, an attorney can also help you in a number of additional ways, including:

  • Thoroughly investigate the accident, including gathering evidence to build your case
  • Protect your rights, making sure insurance companies don’t take advantage of you
    Handle paperwork and legal filings
  • When you are injured, an attorney can be indispensable in helping you reduce your stress so that you can focus on your recovery.

4. File Your Claim

Once you’ve determined that you have a valid personal injury case, your attorney can help you file the claim with the appropriate court or insurance company. This may involve filing a formal complaint or sending a demand letter outlining your case and the compensation you’re seeking. They can also assist you in negotiating the claims process, which can be challenging on your own.

5. The Discovery Process

After your claim is filed, both sides will engage in a process of discovery, where they request and share evidence related to the case. This may involve document demands, interrogatories where an individual responds to written questions, or depositions, where individuals are placed under oath and orally answer questions relevant to the case.

These can be overwhelming and stressful experiences, but a lawyer can coach you in how to respond to questions in ways that will bolster your case rather than harming it.

6. Mediation and Settlement

In many cases, personal injury claims are resolved through mediation, where both sides negotiate a settlement. If both sides reach an agreement, the case will be resolved without going to trial. At this stage, a personal injury attorney in New York will help you negotiate the best possible settlement.

Keep in mind that oftentimes, settlements are preferable because they resolve the case more quickly, are less costly, and can help you avoid the uncertainty and risk of going to trial.

7. Trial

If a settlement cannot be reached, the case will proceed to trial, where a judge or jury will hear the evidence and make a ruling on the case. In some personal injury cases, going to trial may be necessary to recover the compensation you deserve. Your New York personal injury attorneys can help you understand your options and advise you on the best course of action.

Even if you are unsure whether or not you have a case, it can be useful to get in touch with a personal injury attorney for a free consultation.

Contact Buttafuoco & Associates today at 1-800-NOW-HURT to start getting your life back on track.


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