How Do Personal Injury Claims Work?

April 15, 2022
How Do Personal Injury Claims Work? Here's how the personal injury claim process works:
  1. Assessing liability
  2. Gathering evidence
  3. Assessing the extent of injuries
  4. Determining the best settlement amount
  5. Negotiating with the insurance company
  6. Agreeing on the best compensation amount

How Is Liability Determined in a Personal Injury Claim?

By filing a personal injury claim, you may seek compensation for expenses incurred because of one or more of the following: injuries from an accident, loss of income, property damage, and the cost of pain and suffering. The first step in any personal injury claim process is determining which party is responsible for the accident. This step is the foundation for the rest of the personal injury claim, including collecting evidence, negotiating with the insurance company, and if necessary, going to court. In situations where multiple people could be at fault, a personal injury lawyer will need to investigate to determine the extent of liability for each party before proceeding with your case.

How Is Evidence Gathered in a Personal Injury Claim?

Even though each accident is unique, there are supportive documents for filing a personal injury claim. These documents are necessary for proving that the liable party is directly or indirectly responsible for your injuries and damages. To help your personal injury lawyer collect all the supporting information for your personal injury claim, write down the following after an accident:
  • When and where the accident happened
  • Witness accounts, if any
  • Photos of the accident scene
  • Your and the other driver's car information for car accident claims, or that of the machine, tool, or accident for work-related accident claims
  • The events leading to the accident
  • Who do you think is liable for the accident

What Is the Significance of Assessing Injuries in a Personal Injury Claim?

The extent of your injuries from an accident plays a very important role in a personal injury claim. This is because a personal injury claim's primary goal is getting compensation for injuries sustained in an accident. A claim for a minor accident will differ from an accident resulting in permanent disability or wrongful death. To determine the extent of your injuries for a personal injury claim, your lawyer will request the following information:
  • Photos of visible injuries
  • Reports on medical assessments on the severity of your injuries
  • Medical expert reports on the time your injuries will take to heal and the need for specialized treatment
  • An expert's opinion on the long-term effects of your injuries
The information provided in this part of the case creates the background of a personal injury claim. Medical expenses are usually hefty and make up a considerable fraction of the proposed compensation amount.

Which Factors Determine the Best Settlement Amount?

A personal injury lawyer shouldn't blindly suggest an amount as reasonable compensation. They need to consider all the factors relating to your case before arriving at a calculated fair settlement amount.  These factors include:
  • Cost for medical care resulting from injuries obtained in the accident
  • Loss of income or lack of future working capability if the accident is more severe
  • Cost of adaptive equipment like prosthetics, crutches, wheelchair, or accessible car
  • Cost of specialized medical care like therapy, rehabilitation, or assessment visits
  • Cost of property lost or damaged in the accident like a car

What Should I Remember When Negotiating With the Insurance Company?

After gathering all the necessary documents and determining the best settlement amount, your lawyer and the insurance company will start negotiations on how to settle your personal injury claim best. Usually, the length and number of negotiations for a personal injury claim will depend on the number of accident victims and the extent of the victims' injuries. Personal injury claims for severe accidents like 18-wheeler truck accidents or fuel truck accidents may take longer because they usually involve several victims. It's also likely that the different proposed compensation amounts in such claims are collectively high. For this reason, the negotiating parties may not always agree on the proper settlement amount after the first few meetings.

Your Claim May Need to Go to Court for Fair Compensation

Even though court cases in personal injury claims are rare, if the parties fail to reach an agreement during negotiations, your personal injury claim may need to go to court. Trials usually happen when the liable party denies responsibility for the accident or when the insurance company disputes the proposed compensation amount.

Which Is the Final Step of a Personal Injury Claim Process?

The insurance company and your personal injury lawyer will agree on the best possible settlement package. Then, details like when and how you will receive your compensation will be settled, and you can continue to recover.

Begin Working With Us Today

Instead of dealing with this complex process alone, enlist the help of a professional personal injury lawyer from Dolman Law Group. Call us today to discuss the best legal options available to you.