Personal Injury claims seek to compensate victims who suffer damages as a result of accidents. Before pursuing a personal injury claim, you should have adequate information about such claims to get the best results. Here are some important things you should know before making a personal injury claim.
Types of Personal Injury Claims
When people hear “personal injury claims,” their minds immediately think of automobile accidents. However, a personal injury goes beyond car accidents.
Other personal injury claims include injuries resulting from medical malpractice, animal attacks, slip-and-fall accidents and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Personal injury claims apply to situations where a person suffers harm as a result of the negligence of another individual.
Cases Do Not Always Go to Trial
Often, personal injury cases are settled outside the court. In these cases, your attorney negotiates a settlement in the form of money with the defendant or insurance company, rather than of a judge or jury deciding the outcome of the case.
Then, you can decide whether to accept or reject the settlement offer. The case may go to trial if you are not satisfied with the settlement and you reject it.
You may have a limited time to bring forth a personal jury claim because of your state’s statute of limitations. It is important to note that once the statute of limitations expires, you may never be able to bring forth your claim.
Although many states have a three-year statute of limitations, it is important to find out your state’s regulations since it may be longer or shorter than three years. Remember, statutes may differ from one state to the other. For example, the statute of limitations on personal injury cases in Kentucky is one year.
Your Lawyer’s Experience Matters
Due to the nature of personal injury cases, the experience of your lawyer matters. Victims often interview multiple lawyers before settling on the best choice. Your lawyer should have successfully handled personal injury cases such as yours. Your lawyer should also have experience negotiating an appropriate settlement if the case is settled out of court.
A Claim May Be Valid Even if You Are Partially at Fault
Many people believe that if they were responsible for an accident, they have no legal recourse available to them. The truth is, you may be allowed to pursue a personal injury claim even if you are partially responsible for the accident.
Based on the amount of fault you contributed to the car accident, for instance, your payment can often be reduced. For example, if you suffered damages to the tune of $500,000 and you are found to be 20% at fault, your recovery would be reduced to $100,000.
Evidence Can Make or Break Your Case
As the victim, you must gather as much evidence as you can to support your claim. A lack of adequate evidence will affect the outcome of your case. Ideally, you will begin to gather evidence as soon as the accident occurs, through photos, witness statements and police reports.
If you are unsure of what information to gather, contact your lawyer. He or she can also assist you in gaining access to documents such as medical records to build a strong case. Your level of knowledge of personal injury claims can go a long way in contributing to your case’s success or failure.
Should you be involved in an accident due to the negligence of an individual or entity, being in the know takes you one step closer toward getting the settlement you deserve.