Making a personal injury claim is an emotional and difficult process. In addition to compensation for medical costs, property damage, and loss of income, there are costs associated with pain and suffering, distress, and family conflict. Your claim should include a dollar amount for such harms, but you must also determine if you need to hire an attorney.
If you decide to forego hiring attorney, you need to be familiar with the process of filing and handling insurance claims. Each insurance company has its own processes and your role will require you to understand those processes. You will work with claims adjusters; your claim takes time to process, so exercise patience. However, it is important to stay in contact with the insurance companies via letters and phone calls. You are your own advocate. You will eventually receive a suggested settlement amount. If you do not agree with the value, negotiate. If that fails, then you will need to hire a personal injury lawyer. However, by that point, you may have critically damaged your chances by something you did unknowingly. That’s the danger of going it alone.
Hiring your attorney is an important decision, so do your research. First, ask family and friends if they have recommendations and develop a list of a few candidates. Contact these lawyers and ask for a free consultation. The consultation is your chance to ‘interview’ the lawyer and find the right fit for you. Your selection takes into account personality, fees, experience, and record of accomplishment.
Most claims never go before a jury or judge. You may be offered an out-of-court settlement and if it is close to what you expect, you should consider it and your lawyer’s recommendations. Going to court may reap you more money, but it also costs you additional legal costs and the risk of receiving a poor result. Remember, if you do choose to go to court, be aware that the result could be far less than the original offer.
Personal injury claims are serious and complex. There is nothing fun or easy about them – finding the right lawyer will help you along the path. The insurance and legal processes are often detailed and laborious. With the right amount of patience, perseverance, and assistance, however, you may win your personal injury claim and get on with living the rest of your life.
Source: WikiHow (http://www.wikihow.com/Win-Your-Personal-Injury-Claim)