4 Tips to Help You Through a Personal Injury Case
Whether you were involved in an automobile accident or slipped and fell at a local eatery or retailer, you may be able to file a personal injury claim. The claim can help pay for your medical care, which is important if you have suffered injuries that affect your quality of life.
In addition, if your injuries prevent you from work and bringing in income, compensation is even more important. Of course, you may be overwhelmed by the process of filing a claim and receiving compensation from a personal injury. This guide and an attorney will help you navigate the process of filing a personal injury lawsuit.
1. Do Not Wait
One of the first things you need to keep in mind when you want to file a case is the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations ranges from one to six years depending on your state.
In Iowa, you have a two-year statute of limitations for filing a personal injury case. This means you have two years from the date of the accident/injury to file a lawsuit.
Even if you feel you have sufficient time and might benefit from waiting to file, the best thing you can do is to start the process as soon as possible.
2. Secure Legal Help
Legal help is important for a few reasons. Not only does a lawyer have the experience and knowledge required to navigate a lawsuit, but they can also help you receive more money as compensation.
Recent surveys showed that the average amount of compensation for personal injury lawsuits was $17,600 for individuals who filed the claim on their own. For individuals who hired attorneys to work on their case, the average compensation was $77,600.
Remember that higher settlements equal more money to not only pay your medical bills, but also to pay basic living expenses if you have lost time at work because of your accident or injury. Although higher settlements are not guaranteed, hiring an attorney to handle your case can be a worthwhile investment.
3. Gather Evidence
You will also need to gather a good amount of documentation and evidence to support your personal injury claim. Another benefit of hiring an attorney is that they will help you understand and gather evidence in some cases.
Examples of documentation you will need to show your attorney include medical records that show the extent of your injuries and how the injuries have affected your ability to work and quality of life. Also, proof of treatment will be required.
Evidence from the accident scene is also essential for building a personal injury lawsuit. If you were involved in an automobile accident, collect a copy of the police report.
If you were injured in a public place, such as a restaurant or store, you and your attorney can work to gather evidence from security cameras. Photographs of the accident scene and accounts from witnesses who saw the accident occur can be extremely helpful.
4. Be Patient
Even though you may experience physical, emotional, and financial distress because of your injury, you need to remain calm and be patient through the process.
A few things may happen once a case is filed.
Insurance companies will attempt to settle the case, offering you a specific sum of money to avoid trial. You can accept the offer, but your attorney can help you negotiate a higher sum, especially if the first offer was not sufficient to cover your medical care. An estimated 95 to 96 percent of all claims are settled pretrial.
If you choose not to accept the settlement offers, your case will go through a trial process. This process can increase time and court/legal fees, so you need to decide whether or not settling out of court is the right option for you.
For assistance with your personal injury case, contact Galligan Law Firm today.