If you have been injured in an accident, filing a personal injury lawsuit is the first step to getting the compensation you deserve. If you have sustained painful and long-lasting injuries due to the negligent actions of another and would like to know how the personal injury settlement process works, the Mesa personal injury attorneys at SGP Law are here to help. Although every personal injury case is unique, the process can be broken down into five basic steps.
Step 1: A Consultation with Your Attorney
The first step following your accident is to schedule a consultation with an experienced attorney. Explain what happened, whether another person was involved (and the extent of their negligence), whether there were witnesses or any damage to property, and the severity of your injuries. You should also make certain that you discuss any medical costs you may have already incurred, or may have to pay for in the future.
Step 2: Investigating Your Case
An attorney will be able to recommend different legal options if you have a case worth pursuing. Medical records and bills, police reports, witness testimony, photographs of the accident scene, and other important pieces of evidence will all be examined. Your attorney will also study the possible defenses of the opposing party to try to determine liability. However, you have to be diligent to make sure you have a case. There are many ways in which you can inadvertently ruin your own case, including, but not limited to:
- Failing to contact the police after your accident
- Choosing not to seek medical treatment or exaggerating the extent of your injuries
- Discussing your case with your insurance company instead of your attorney
Step 3: The Demand Package
This third step involves a demand for settlement and is probably the most critical. A demand letter outlines your case, your injuries and all out-of-pocket costs you have incurred, such as medical bills and wages lost due to your injury. The opposing party will either accept or reject the demand or, instead, make a counteroffer. In situations where your case is not settled upfront, your attorney will work with you to file a lawsuit seeking damages.
Step 4: The Discovery and Mediation Phases
Prior to your trial, the opposing parties may acquire additional evidence from one another, giving them both the opportunity to assess the others' case. A mediator may supervise the opposing parties in an attempt to reach an appropriate agreement and avoid a trial.
Step 5: The Trial
During the concluding part of the process, a decision-maker, such as a jury, will appraise the facts to determine who is at fault. Compensation, if any, will be awarded at this time. In some cases, the losing party may appeal the decision.
At Skousen, Gulbrandsen & Patience, our skilled personal injury lawyers will help you with your injury claim settlement. We will evaluate your case and guide you every step of the way through the process. Contact our attorneys if you or a loved one has suffered from a brain injury, spinal cord damage or another debilitating condition due to the negligence of another. Our brain injury lawyers and car accident attorneys can help you recoup the compensation necessary for your recovery.
We understand that residents of Mesa are sometimes confused about personal injury claims and lawsuits. That is why our friendly legal team is more than happy to answer any questions you may have about bodily injury liability or filing a personal injury lawsuit. We offer FREE consultations!