Personal Injury Lawsuit
If people were always prepared for accidents, they’d never happen. Most people who sustain a personal injury are blind-sided by the occurrence and have no idea what to do next. This leads to a lot of hesitation and confusion that can result in long-term expenses and stress. Many people who experience an accident ask, “Is filing a personal injury lawsuit always necessary?” Here’s what you need to know about personal injury lawsuits and what to do after an accident.
Personal Injury Claims versus Personal Injury Lawsuits
There’s a difference between personal injury claims and lawsuits. Claims are the due process that takes place to report an incident. A lawsuit happens when the claims process is insufficient. While a personal injury lawsuit is never a requirement, it’s an option worth exploring when an accident occurs.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim
A personal injury claim is filed with an insurance agency after you experience an accident. When it comes to motor vehicle accidents, this process usually goes hand-in-hand with reporting vehicular damage. A personal injury claim might cover anything from lost wages to medical expenses.
A personal injury claim occurs between you and the at-fault individual’s insurance company, not with the individual themselves.
When to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Personal injury lawsuits are the next step when a claim settlement can’t be reached. This could result in the insurance company trying to low-ball your medical costs or particular circumstances, like when the other driver doesn’t have insurance.
Generally speaking, a lawsuit isn’t worth pursuing on minor injuries. In those scenarios, the costs and stress associated with litigation aren’t worth the return. Lawsuits usually take place following serious accidents, like a rollover. Rollover accidents often result in debilitating, chronic injuries. Additionally, they’re subject to nuances regarding a shared fault that can complicate a claim.
What to Do After an Accident
If you’re in an accident, you can take a series of steps to maximize your claim and cover your bases.
First, document everything. Write down or record yourself to reiterate the accident as you remember it. Take photos of the scene and jot down the case file from any attending police officers. The more information you can provide, the better your case will be.
See a Doctor
Next, seek medical attention, regardless of how minor the accident seems. Adrenaline is a powerful thing – you might not feel pain until the next day. There are also plenty of injuries that remain dormant for a time. Seeking medical attention immediately can ensure that you’re safe and well, and also helps you start a paper trail for future reference.
Contact Your Insurance
Ideally, you’ll reach out to your insurance provider as soon as possible. This might mean calling while you’re in a waiting room to see a physician. Provide any information you can and start the claims process.
Contact an Attorney
If you foresee any issues with your claim, such as disputes about fault or severe injuries that will result in significant medical bills or time off work, it’s time to call a lawyer.
Consulting a personal injury lawyer to look over your case can give you a better idea about your options. They may determine that you should wait until the claims process is complete or negotiate on your behalf. There’s no harm in exploring your options.
Finally, once the work is done, give yourself time to rest and recover. Don’t hesitate to reach out to a friend or loved one to stay with you for a few days following the accident to help.
In summary, it isn’t always necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit. However, it’s a valid option for serious accidents that will have long-term repercussions on your health, finances, and general well-being.