Having a personal injury caused by car accidents isn’t always your fault. At times, you can be very conscious of your surroundings and pay attention to traffic lights. Yet, it is still possible to stumble upon reckless drivers.
Even if you aren’t the type of person to dash across the streets when the lights are green, some drivers foolishly try to beat the red light. Some reckless drivers also ignore traffic signs and rules thinking it was okay. However, negligence as such often results in road accidents.
And if ever you encounter and were injured by any of these, know that you can teach them a lesson. You can sue for compensation by hiring a personal injury lawyer. Personal injury attorneys come in a range of specializations. These include truck accident lawyers, car accident lawyers, malpractice attorneys, and slip and fall lawyers.
It is our sincere hope that the scenario above has never happened to you. Yet it doesn’t hurt to know about personal injury lawsuits and how to get a claim at the right time.
The Sooner You Claim, The Better
Do not wait too long after an incident or accident to make a claim. Different states have different requirements regarding personal injury claims.
Most states, for example, have a two-year statute of limitation. If you pass that window, you cannot file a claim. There may be some exceptions to this statute rule, though. Your legal team must give good reasons why the court should extend the deadline.
The exception to the limitations happens under the discovery rule. You may, for example, not even be aware that you have suffered any injury. Let’s take the example of long-term miners or those whose work exposes them to asbestos.
It could take years before any diseases start to show. It is not uncommon, for example, for asbestos-related cancer to show after 20 or more years. In this case, the plaintiff can get a reprieve on the statute of limitation.
It is also essential to understand that the limitation starts on the day of the accident or incident. So for the car crash above, start counting from the day the negligent driver hit you.
Get the Right Legal Team
Let’s go back to the example of the car accident above. One of the most important first decisions is to hire a car accident lawyer. They have the relevant expertise to handle the complex claims process. It is not even advisable to speak to the police without your lawyer present. The attorney will provide you with proper guidelines on how to handle the matter.
A personal injury lawyer will:-
- Help demand fair compensation, depending on the injuries.
- Explore all the avenues that can lead to an amicable resolution to the case. Reputable lawyers do not look at court cases as the first option. Some other ways the teams explore include arbitration or mediation where possible.
- Undertake necessary administrative and legal processes. These include filing motions, collecting depositions, and more.
- Manage any appeals if it gets to that.
The attorney you hire should have a good grasp of the legal variations depending on the state you are filing in.
Don’t Wait to Seek Medical Attention and Gather Evidence
Make sure you get immediate medical help. It is critical to first ensure that you are alright following the accident. You will also need documentary evidence if you decide to seek compensation.
Ensure the doctors or healthcare professionals take plenty of photographs. At this stage, your lawyer will ask for copies. He will also collect any written documentation put together during the treatment.
Another reason you will need a lawyer is to gather relevant evidence. In your injured state, you may not be able to do much for yourself. Reputable car accident lawyers have teams that can do such work. They will interview witnesses and look up accident reports.
Investigators can dig into the plaintiff’s background. They can unearth information that will be critical to the case. Let’s say the team discovers a history of accidents due to drunk driving. That could provide a strong defense for your case when the time is right. Other vital documents will include accident scene photos and financial and insurance documents.
Keep a Low Profile
In these days of social media, people find it very easy to share information. One piece of advice your personal injury lawyer is sure to share with you is to keep a low profile. Do not post anything about the ongoing case on your platforms.
It is important to remember that the defendants are always on the lookout. You could share information that could ruin the outcome of your case.
Some clients have also been guilty of using underhanded ways to win a case. You may decide to look more injured than you are. You have a neck brace or even a hand sling when you appear in court.
But, that Saturday outing Instagram photo shows you bungee jumping with your friends. The case can turn against you. You can be sure the judge will throw out your compensation claim.
The second is it will place your lawyer in a very uncomfortable situation. Even if they did not know what you were doing, it would be hard for them to defend themselves. Finally, stay off social media and watch what you say about the case in perpetuity.
Getting a claim settlement in a personal injury case is not easy. You must prove that the defendant caused the injury due to negligence or intentional wrongdoing. Your best bet would be to hire the right lawyer to get a timely claim settlement. This will depend on the type of personal injury you are filing for.
Cases involving physical harm like car accidents need immediate medical attention. Get guidelines on how to proceed from your lawyer. They will immediately start to collect the relevant information to support your case. Finally, remember to maintain total honesty and keep off social media.