You don’t really think about the consequences of an injury or an accident until it happens to you. Injuries can lead to financial stress and long-term physical pain.
Almost a quarter of people have trouble paying for medical bills. Many of those medical bills are due to injuries sustained in an accident.
You could recover some of those costs through a personal injury claim.
You’re going to have more questions than answers. How long does a personal injury claim take? How much does it cost? Do you even have a case? How do you find a personal injury attorney?
You don’t have to worry about those questions anymore. You just need to read on to find out everything you need to know about personal injury claims.
Documenting the Injury
Your personal injury claim starts as soon as you suffer an injury. If you’re able to, you need to check on the wellbeing of others involved in the incident. If anyone is injured, you have to call for help.
You’ll then need to document the incident. Medical reports and police reports are going to be critical in proving your case.
The more documentation you have that connects the incident to the injury the better. Opposing attorneys will try to claim that your injuries were due to something else.
You don’t want to sit on your documentation and wait to file a personal injury claim. Just about every state has a statute of limitations law.
This is a set amount of time after your injury that you have to file a lawsuit. In most cases, you have two years to file a claim. That doesn’t mean that you should wait until the last minute to find a lawyer.
You want to file a claim as soon as you can.
How to Find a Personal Injury Attorney
You do need to have an attorney by your side to help you with your claim. You can find an attorney through a number of means.
You can get recommendations and referrals from friends and family. You can also look online for an attorney. You should also have a list of questions ready to ask attorneys before you reach out to them.
- What kind of personal injury cases do you specialize in?
- Do you offer a free consultation?
- What’s your track record with cases similar to mine?
- What’s your average settlement amount?
Some attorneys will have this information and more right on their website.
Take a look at this site: https://kemprugegreen.com/practice-areas/personal-injury/car-accidents/. It has everything on one webpage. There is a specialization in car accidents, which is great if you need a car accident lawyer.
There are also testimonials from past clients, settlement results, and they offer a free consultation. These are the things you should look for when you are looking for a personal injury attorney.
Costs of Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney
You may not want to hire a personal injury attorney because you’re afraid of the cost. That’s a reasonable fear if you’re paying an attorney by the hour.
Personal injury attorneys work differently than other types of attorneys. They work on a contingency basis. This means that they get paid only when you receive a settlement.
Personal injury attorneys receive between 30% and 50% of settlement claims. That seems like a lot, but they also get more money for you than if you were negotiating with an insurance company on your own.
When you hire a personal injury lawyer, you need to understand what their percentage is. Be sure to ask if there are other fees involved, like administrative fees or costs for expert interviews.
The Next Steps in the Personal Injury Claim Process
What happens when you hire an attorney? Do you get your settlement money right away? Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
Most personal injury cases take between six months and a couple of years. It depends on how complicated your cases is.
One thing you need to know is that it is unlikely to go to trial. Only a small percentage of cases do end up in court. Both sides try to avoid this scenario because it’s costly and it takes longer for the case to come to a conclusion.
Once you and your attorney come to an agreement, they’ll file a lawsuit in court. This usually takes a few weeks because they need to write the legal brief that outlines your case.
Both sides will then go through the discovery phase, which is when they collect information. The attorneys will go over all police reports, pictures, and medical reports.
They’ll review financial records, such as your medical bills. This is to prove financial damages, which will come in handy during the negotiation phase.
The attorneys will come together after the discovery phase and begin negotiations for a settlement. This can be a long process and it could go to mediation.
You can expect that the discovery phase takes about six months while negotiations can take a year. Not all cases take that long. Straightforward cases can get resolved in just a few months.
When the parties reach a settlement, you’ll get your check within two months. It will get sent to your attorney, who will then take their cut.
They may also forward funds to your medical providers to pay off past due bills. You’ll get what’s left. Be aware that you are likely to have to pay taxes on the funds that you receive.
How Long Does a Personal Injury Claim Take?
You have a right to file a personal injury claim if you were injured in an accident. It could save you from serious financial issues, too.
A personal injury claim could take as little as a few months. It could extend to a couple of years. It just depends on your case.
Be sure to read the other articles on this site for more legal insights.