The 6 Steps to File a Personal Injury Claim
1. Determine grounds to file a Personal Injury Claim
Usually, if you have been injured because of another person’s negligence or faults, you have grounds for a claim, possibly a lawsuit. It is very important to know that if you accept any type of settlement and sign a release from the insurance company, you waive your right to collect any additional compensation even if your medical condition changes.
2. Gather evidence
In order to file a Personal Injury claim, you need proof. Make sure you collect as much evidence relating to your accident as possible. Types of evidence you can easily collect include a police report (if one was filed), photographs of the accident scene, your vehicle and the other party’s vehicle. Gather photographs of your injuries, and any additional relevant documents proving that your injuries sustained in your accident led to lost wages. You should even ask to take a photograph of the other party’s driver’s license and insurance cards.
Always remember to take pictures of your vehicle plus the other vehicle at all angles (front, back, and both sides). What actually happened versus what the other party might tell their insurance company could be different. Having photographic evidence will provide truth in what really happened. This same rule applies to any photographs taken of injuries. Take injury photographs on each side on the injury and at different angles. This will help corroborate your story. Also, take photographs of injuries in the sunlight as they will show up better.
3. Contact Personal Injury Attorney
The earlier you contact a personal injury lawyer, the better. Every state has a statue of limitations specifically for personal injury lawsuits. In Ohio, an injured person has 2 years and Michigan, 3 years from the date of the injury to go to court to settle or file a lawsuit. Contact Attorney Charles V. Contrada at 419-841-4400 to set up a consultation to discuss your case.
4. Review your case with your Attorney
Once you select your personal injury attorney, you will need to review your case and share all injury related evidence and documents you have collected. Disclose all information relating to your case to your attorney. Do not present misleading information to make your claim look stronger for example not stating a prior accident or injuries. At Contrada & Associates, honesty with our attorneys is the key to getting the best outcome possible.
5. Consider the option of settlement
Before you decide to file a claim, meet with your lawyer to discuss a settlement proposal. In a settlement, both sides meet to settle the claim without going to court. If you decide to try and reach a settlement agreement, it is a good idea to go through this process with your personal injury attorney so they are able to examine the settlement and negotiate with the other party to ensure the best result for you.
6. Filing A Lawsuit
If you and your personal injury attorney agree that your case is strong enough, or if your pre-lawsuit settlement negotiations do not end up being sufficient, you may then decide to file a lawsuit. If you choose this option, your attorney will file the lawsuit on your behalf. It is extremely difficult but not impossible to file a lawsuit on your own. Your outcome may not be as favorable as if you were working with an attorney on your behalf.
If you have been involved in a car accident, contacting a personal injury attorney as soon as possible will make the claims process much easier. Attorney Charles V. Contrada will explain your legal options, guide you through the process and assist you in dealing with insurance companies.
To speak to attorney Charles V. Contrada about a car accident in Ohio or Michigan, call 419.841.4400. Charles has helped thousands of individuals with car accident claims and will explain the legal options that are available to you. Call Contrada & Associates for comprehensive legal guidance that will help you to receive the most favorable outcome.