If you were recently injured in an accident, then it is natural to find yourself wondering what happens in a personal injury claim. Although each case is different, the process of filing a personal injury claim may involve a few key steps:
- A person injured in an accident
- Evidence is gathered
- A complaint is filed
- Both parties negotiate a settlement
- If a settlement is not reached, the victim can file a personal injury lawsuit and take their case to trial
While the process may seem simple enough at first, additional steps may need to take place depending on the case. This can include receiving enough medical treatment to know the value of your case, hiring expert witnesses or accident reconstruction experts to testify in your defense, and more.
A personal injury lawyer may be able to handle all legal work in your claim, even if your case does not need to go to trial.
Gathering evidence is important for any personal injury claim. For example, consider a car accident case. Car accidents are one of the most common causes of personal injuries. According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, there were nearly 300,000 automobile crashes across the state in the year 2019 alone.
To prove that a driver was to blame in a car accident, plaintiffs must gather pertinent evidence of the responsible party’s negligence. Possible forms of evidence that may be used to negotiate a settlement or serve as a defense in a trial include:
- Photographs captured at the scene of the accident
- Eyewitness testimonies
- Police reports
- Footage gathered from security cameras and dashboard cameras
- Phone records
- And more
A lawyer who focuses on personal injury law can work to preserve your legal interests while also creating a case on your behalf. Like most stages of the personal injury claim process, evidence gathering can be a lengthy affair depending on the nature of the incident and the involvement of other parties.
Whether you were involved in a car accident or some other type of accident, liability must be established to pursue a personal injury claim. Lawyers can reference the evidence they gathered to assist in establishing liability. This process can get complicated, especially is a car insurance company denies their client’s liability or challenges your claim.
Negotiating a Settlement
When liability is established, both parties may work to reach a settlement that accounts for the losses sustained in an accident. Personal injuries vary widely in their effects. Some injuries, such as traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries, may carry life-changing consequences. Other injuries may be minor, resolving with time and rest.
Regardless of the severity of the injuries sustained, you may be owed compensation. Gathering evidence of the value of your damages may be necessary to receive a fair settlement.
A lawyer who focuses on personal injury can work to recover any damages that you may be owed after an accident. Possible forms of damages include:
- Past and future medical bills
- Emergency medical transportation
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation programs
- Lost wages
- Property damages
- Pain and suffering
- And more
If you are not able to reach a fair settlement for your personal injury claim, you can also file a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party and take your case to trial. A lawyer can represent you in this process, as well.
Statute of Limitations If you were injured in an accident, you should also consider your timetable. Ohio Revised Code § 2305.10 imposes a general two-year statute of limitations, or legal time limit, on filing a personal injury lawsuit. Some circumstances could alter the deadlines in your case.
It is important to keep this time restraint in mind when you are seeking to file a suit or take any other legal action after an accident that left you with personal injuries. Failing to file by the deadline in your case could mean it gets dismissed.
Contact the Fitch Law Firm LLC Today
Personal injury claims should be taken seriously. If you or a loved one were injured in an accident of any kind, then having the right lawyer by your side can help you progress through the legal and financial uncertainty that you are may be facing.
The Fitch Law Firm LLC helps accident victims in Ohio in a variety of personal injury cases. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation to anyone interested in filing a personal injury claim.
If you would like to discuss your case, your legal options, and what may happen in your personal injury claim, contact a member of our team today at (614) 545-3930.