Personal Injury Claims Process: All You Need to Know
If you’ve just suffered an injury from another person, business, or entity, you may be inquiring about your next course of action. Whether the injury was intentional or malpractice, a personal injury lawsuit can financially compensate for the pain and suffering caused by lost wages, medical bills, and other incident-related damages.
Bearing the personal injury claims process on your own can add to your emotional and physical duress without the proper guidance. Our dedicated personal injury law firm in Virginia has crafted a complete guide for victims maneuvering a lawsuit, so you can receive the justice you deserve.
TYPES OF PERSONAL INJURY CLAIMS
Before you file your claim, you need to identify its category. At Breit, we cover various practice areas to tailor to each injured individual.
- Personal Injury
- Auto Accidents
- Drunk Driving
- Medical Malpractice
- Wrongful Death
- Trucking Accidents
- Pharmaceutical Drugs
- Brain Injury
- Premises Liability
- Products Cases
- Railroad Cases
- Admiralty Claims
- Longshoreman Claims
- Pedestrians Cases
- Bicycle Accidents
- Jury Trials
The type of injury lawsuit you file depends on the incident. For example, if you were injured in a car accident, you would serve the lawsuit to the at-fault driver. If you were injured in an on-premises slip and fall, you would file a claim against the property owner.
WHAT TO DO AFTER AN ACCIDENT OR INJURY
As soon as your accident occurs, your safety should be your priority. After tending to your injuries, some actions are needed to reach your compensation’s full potential. This includes gathering the proper evidence to prove your perpetrator is in the wrong for your pain and suffering.
- Seek medical aid- No matter the injury’s seriousness, you should consult a medical professional to check the trauma. If you’ve sustained a blow to the head, you might not realize you have a severe concussion. If you’ve broken a bone, you should get those X-rays as soon as possible. Either way, go to the hospital and get help before your injury worsens.
- Record the damage- The best thing you can do to help your case is to take photos and videos of the scene. Take pictures of the injuries, weapons/equipment, and vehicle damage—or screenshot any incriminating text messages.
- Collect information- For every injury incident, you should get the contact information of any witnesses. If you were in a car accident, obtain the at-fault driver’s insurance and contact information, or take photos of their license plate.
- Assess the evidence- During your ongoing medical treatment, organize any critical medical documents, x-rays, and insurance records for your evidence file. In a journal, you should also record your thoughts and feelings about the accident and how it has affected your daily life.
INVESTIGATING THE PERSONAL INJURY CASE WITH YOUR ATTORNEY
After you’ve gathered your evidence, your personal injury law firm can help you draft a demand letter to send to the insurance carrier or other party. If the at-fault party acquiesces, you will receive the payout and will not need to proceed with the personal injury claim. If they refuse the demands or counteroffer with unsubstantial compensation, you and your lawyer will file a personal injury lawsuit.
Filing the Claims
In the state of Virginia, under Code Section 8.01-243(A), the statute of limitations for personal injury claims states a two-year action duration from the accident date to file a lawsuit. After entering the official personal injury claims process, there are several key steps you and your lawyer will walk through together.
Complying with state rules and regulations, your attorney will enter the discovery phase, where both parties can present their evidence and review the case. Usually, one party will realize they are at fault and back out of the process.
If both parties fail to reach an agreement during the discovery phase, a judge may order a personal injury mediation. A third-party neutral mediator will partake in this step and initiate discussions between the parties before taking the case to trial.
If both parties hold their ground, they will take their personal injury case to trial by jury. The judge will determine if the defendant was at fault and if so, present the compensation amount to be paid to the plaintiff.
After a verdict is reached, a party may choose to appeal. The case will then transition to the appellate process, an entirely different procedure that should be discussed with your lawyer.
FIND A PERSONAL INJURY LAW FIRM TODAY
Participating in the personal injury process can be a convoluted experience, even if it may seem straightforward. To receive the help and compensation you deserve, it’s crucial to seek a professional.
Breit Law PC is a personal injury law firm in Virginia that provides concentrated expertise for victims suffering a personal injury. Serving justice to Norfolk, Chesapeake, Virginia Beach, and Hampton Roads for over 36 years, we have the experience necessary to win your case. For more information on how we can help, get in touch with our legal team.