No doubt, sustaining an injury can be a traumatic experience for anyone, especially if it is due to another person’s negligence. If you or your loved one have experienced personal injury, you have the right to demand compensation or in legal terms file a “personal injury claim”.
Filing a compensation claim may not be as easy as you think, especially if it is your first time doing so. There are certain legal steps you need to take to ensure that you or your loved one get maximum compensation for your injuries. In this article, I will walk you through some of the legal steps you can take if you (or your loved one) experiences a personal injury.
What Are The Legal Steps Required To Make A Personal Injury Claim?
To successfully make a personal injury claim, these are the legal steps you need to take:
Step #1: Notify Relevant Authorities About The Accident And Your Personal Injury
The first thing to do if you’ve experienced personal injury is to report the accident and the injuries sustained to the relevant authorities. If it is a work-related personal injury, you should report the incident to your employer. You can get the best personal injury attorneys from WestCoastTrialLawyers.com to help you out with this phase. If you’ve sustained personal injury due to medical negligence, you should report the incident to the appropriate medical board and bodies. On the other hand, if it is a personal injury due to a car accident, you must notify the police and obtain a Traffic Incident Number (TIN).
Step #2: See A Doctor
Even if you feel like you don’t need medical attention, it is always best to go to the ER or see a doctor as soon as possible. In cases of personal injury due to medical negligence, seeing a doctor is the most important and first step to take as you could already be at risk of further medical complications. Seeing a doctor also helps strengthen your claim as the medical and diagnostic reports and certificates obtained from your doctor will be used as proof to support your claim. As such, seeing your doctor is crucial because it minimizes the chances of endangering your health and also convinces the insurers and jury that your injuries are as serious as you claim.
Step #3: Lodge A Compensation Claim
The next step is to lodge a compensation claim with the relevant body. How you lodge a claim largely depends on the context of your personal injury. For instance, if you experienced personal injury as a result of work, you may lodge a claim for workers’ compensation in the specified format to your employer. For personal injuries sustained as a result of a motor vehicle accident or public liability, you may lodge a claim in the specified format with the person responsible or the at-fault party’s insurance company. These subtle differences in format may be challenging for most people to remember or even understand, which is why it is best to seek the help of a personal injury attorney.
Step #4: Get Legal advice
While not all personal injury cases are settled in court, you will still need the help of an expert personal injury lawyer to get the most compensation. It is always best to seek legal advice from a personal injury expert to better understand how the process works and how your personal injury case might likely progress. A personal injury attorney will help you thoroughly investigate the case, examining it for possible loopholes to up your chances of getting the maximum award, and also help you figure out how long the process may take. He or she will also help you mediate and negotiate with the other party so you can focus on recovering.
Step #5: Settlement
In some cases, the at-fault party may choose to settle out of court. This may or may not be in your best interest. As such, it is best to always discuss every aspect of the case with your attorney before taking any step. Your personal injury attorney can accurately determine if the settlement offered is proportionate or less than what you deserve. He or she may then help you negotiate for a better counter-offer, or file a Common Law claim to help you get better compensation.
Of course, filing a compensation claim for personal injury is not an easy process. It often involves a lot of back and forth, investigations, and generally a lot of stress that you may not be in the best frame of mind to handle. The best thing to do at any point of a personal injury claim is to seek the help of a personal injury expert.