How An Injury Claim Officially Starts

If you've hired a personal injury attorney, you might be wondering how your claim will start. Notably, it's important to distinguish between digging into a case and officially getting it rolling. Let's explore that issue and what follows once your case is official. 

Before a Claim Is Filed

Setting up a claim is arguably one of the main reasons for hiring an injury attorney. You'll need to establish who ought to be the defendant in the case. Likewise, you'll have to produce an explanation of events that points to the defendant as the liable party for whatever incident left you hurt.

A significant amount of supporting documentation usually is assembled to back up a claim. Evidence to support a claim typically includes medical reports from doctors and first responders. If the police were called to the scene, a police report can be valuable too.

Note that potential claimants have between two and three years in most jurisdictions to file a claim. As long as you started working with a personal injury attorney within a few months of an incident, this means you probably won't have to rush to get paperwork filed.

Providing Notice to the Defendant

This is the part where things become official. Your injury attorney will send a letter to the defendant and, if they have one, their insurance provider. The letter will outline who you are, what happened, and why you believe the defendant rightly owes you compensation for your injuries. Also, the letter will detail your injuries and the costs you've incurred treating them, including forward-facing costs such as nursing care, therapy, surgeries, and life-sustaining medical devices.

The notice serves three purposes. First, it tells the defendant how much money you expect as compensation for the harm you've suffered. Secondly, it puts them on notice to preserve all evidence they have in their possession that might be relevant to the case. Finally, it satisfies the requirement to file within the time defined in the state's statute of limitations.

The Defendant Responds

A defendant's response is the last official action that is required. In most cases, this will be a matter of weeks. An insurance company will appoint a claims adjuster. The adjuster will be responsible for determining if your claim is valid. If it is, they are empowered to make a settlement offer, and you may choose to accept it or negotiate. Otherwise, they will respond with a rejection letter. If a settlement hasn't been reached after a good-faith effort, you have the right to sue.

If you need help with a claim, contact a personal injury attorney in your area.

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