What to Expect When Filing Personal Injury Claims
If you have been involved in an auto accident, you may have injuries and property damage to deal with. Personal injury claims may be the last thing on your mind at the time, but it isn’t something that should be put off for very long. If you’ve never gone through the claims process, you might be wondering what to expect.
Note that every individual case is different, and the involved parties can resolve it at various points of the process. Whether you decide to settle with the at-fault party or to file a lawsuit against them, the Law Office of Kyle W. Jones of Bakersfield is prepared to help you every step of the way.
In general, a personal injury case might involve some or all of the following components:
Getting Medical Treatment
Obtaining timely medical treatment is essential in a personal injury case. If you delay necessary treatment, it can show that your injuries weren’t serious enough to have a significant impact on your life. Even if you decide not to go to the emergency room right away, you should still visit your personal physician for a full checkup after the accident to rule out any hidden injuries. Having these medical records can be beneficial to proving the extent of your injuries when it comes time to file a claim.
Consultation With a Lawyer
When pursuing a personal injury claim, it is recommended to work with a lawyer who is skilled in the process. While you can definitely work with the other party on your own, you may not get the outcome that you really deserve. If you have sustained significant injuries that have left you unable to work, or if the other individual is contesting fault, you need a lawyer on your side fighting for your right to fair legal compensation. When you come to the Law Office of Kyle W. Jones for a free consultation, we will sit down with you to review what happened, answer your questions, and let you know how we would approach your case as your personal injury attorney.
Your personal injury lawyer will need to know all of the details of the accident, so they will ask you specific questions to uncover exactly what happened. They will request the relevant medical records and any healthcare bills that you incurred after the accident. If there were any witnesses involved, your lawyer will likely gather statements from these individuals to help strengthen your case.
Negotiations With the Insurance Company
Many personal injury claims are settled outside court. During this process, you should know that the other party’s insurance company will try to pay you as little as possible. At the Law Office of Kyle W. Jones, we work hard on behalf of accident victims to get them maximum compensation. During our investigation, we will determine the value of your claim and present this number as a demand for payment from the insurance company. Depending on your case, this amount may include:
- Costs of all medical treatments related to the accident
- Future costs of rehabilitative care for disabling injuries
- Lost wages from the period you had to take time off work to recover
- Future lost income if you’re unable to return to work in the same capacity
- Compensation for your pain and suffering caused by the accident
The insurance company will either accept our demand or come back with a counteroffer with an argument on why the claim is overvalued. This offer may be much lower than we had originally requested. Insurance companies often use sneaky tactics like this to take advantage of the individual who has bills to pay while they recover. They may think that you are desperate to take any settlement you can get, so they present a counteroffer that isn’t anywhere near what you deserve. This is why working with a lawyer is so important. They’ll be able to help you understand what your claim is worth so that you don’t accept a low-ball offer. If the counteroffer isn’t enough, your attorney will send a new, slightly lower demand for payment. This process may go back and forth several times before both parties are able to reach an agreement.
However, sometimes a settlement isn’t in the best interest of the client. Perhaps the other party is disputing fault or being unreasonable with their offer. While many claims don’t require a trial, we are prepared to litigate should you need to file a lawsuit against the responsible individual.
Filing the Lawsuit
If you and your attorney decide to go to trial, you will begin by filing a lawsuit. Note that California has a statute of limitations of two years from the date of the injury for filing personal injury lawsuits, so you shouldn’t hesitate to act when you have been injured and the other party is refusing to pay.
Once the lawsuit is filed, the case will enter the discovery phase, which is when both sides investigate each other’s arguments, share documents, and take statements from witnesses, medical professionals, and any other important parties. With this information, the sides may attempt to resolve the case through mediation. If mediation isn’t successful, the case will proceed to trial, which can be costly and time-consuming for both parties, so it’s important to have the right lawyer on your side to improve your chances of an optimal outcome.
Need a Lawyer for Personal Injury Claims?
The Law Office of Kyle W. Jones represents clients in Bakersfield and the surrounding Kern County area. When you’ve been injured and you need an experienced attorney to guide you through the personal injury claims process, we’re here for you with expert advice and knowledgeable legal representation. We’ll work hard to ensure you get the full compensation you’re entitled to by law. Our office provides a free, no-obligation initial consultation to evaluate your case. Contact us today to set up a meeting with a qualified personal injury lawyer in California.