We’re all creatures of habit. We like to wake up at a time no earlier and no later than what we’re used to, we like to have a breakfast that suits our tastes, and we like to get dressed in comfortable clothes we’ve worn a hundred times before. That’s how we start our day. Anything different, and we start to notice, and compare, and potentially become frustrated that things aren’t as we like them to be. Why am I mentioning all of this? Because when it comes to hiring a personal injury attorney and making a personal injury claim, we envision huge disruption to our lives and we can often think “is it really worth it?”.
Knowing the process can make us feel more comfortable with making a claim. That’s why we’re going to look at an introduction to the personal injury claims process.
Hiring a lawyer and getting started
Choose a personal injury claims legal practice with a reputation for success. If your chosen legal firm is found on page nine of Google and only has a one-page website with a phone number and a stock image of a lawyer, you’re probably not in for the service you’re looking for. What will follow is a short procedure known as the pre-action protocol. This is where your lawyer will inform the other side of your intention to bring a claim based on your injuries (mental or physical).
Evidence could also include gathering medical evidence. Photographs of the area in which the incident took place, CCTV footage, eye-witness accounts, and medical reports can all be used to progress your case. Depending on the circumstances of your injury your lawyer will coordinate the response to gathering evidence (remember to retain any receipts from expenses incurred as a result of your injury, including things like costs for transport to medical appointments).
Settlements (in and out of court)
In the vast majority of cases involving personal injury claims, the expectation is that the claim will be settled out of court. This is because liability is often accepted by the guilty party to avoid ongoing lengthy legal proceedings (the costs of ongoing cases where liability is clear-cut would not be worth the expense). In all probability, the other side will make an offer to settle out of court. Where the case does progress to court, the claimant may be required to give evidence – but as mentioned this is rare.