Getting injured in an accident due to the negligent actions of others is something that should leave you wanting to pursue compensation for your damages. While this is the proper step to take following an injury, many people believe things like:
“It’s too expensive to hire an attorney. I don’t need an attorney, I will just accept the insurer’s offer. The process is never-ending, I don’t want to go through all of that.”
While these are all valid concerns, understanding the process of filing and pursuing a personal injury claim may change the way you view them. To help ease your mind, we want to start by saying that personal injury claims, for the most part, follow the same process.
This process includes finding the right attorney, gathering evidence, working towards settling, and then as a final step, if necessary, going to trial. With the right attorney, you will be able to continue living your life, stress-free, while they put together the required components to form your case.
Finding the Right Attorney
Following your injury, the first thing to do is to hire a qualified Memphis personal injury attorney. While it isn’t necessary to hire an attorney, and you are free to pursue compensation alone, we highly recommend consulting with an experienced attorney, so they can give you helpful information about your case, while answering any questions you may have. They will also be able to give you a plan of action and will ensure that all documents are filed on time. In addition, they will ensure you receive the compensation you deserve, instead of the nickles and dimes the insurance companies will offer.
Search for an attorney in your area and include what type of attorney you are looking for. As an example, let’s say you’ve been involved in an auto accident due to the negligence of another person. To search for the best attorney for the job, we will use the term “Memphis accident attorney,” as this is much more specific than, “personal injury attorney.” Once you view the results, be sure to look for a firm that has great reviews. In the digital age we live in, reviews are the best reflection of any business—as they are nothing but the truth, and cannot be deleted or edited by the business themselves.
Once you have found an attorney you believe has a good track record and is a fit for your case, schedule your initial consultation. Be sure to look for a firm that offers free consultations, as this initial meeting isn’t something you should have to pay for.
Use this meeting to discuss your case fully and feel free to ask any questions you may have, as this will ensure your attorney knows how to handle your case. If you don’t mesh well with the attorney, do not work with them. The ability to be open and collaborative with your attorney is a must, and if you, for any reason, feel that the attorney isn’t the right fit, leave and continue searching.
Once you have found an attorney you believe is fit to handle your case, make sure to listen to the plan they put in place for you. This is crucial for reaching the maximum compensation amount for your case;if your attorney asks for something to be done, it is usually with good reason. Your attorney will gather information about your case while asking for things like:
- Medical records
- Police reports
- Insurance reports
- Wage/earning information
This information will be used to build a strong case in your favor.
Once you and your attorney have presented your information, a settlement may occur. This is when both parties agree on common terms to end the case. This is usually seen in the form of the plaintiff agreeing to drop the lawsuit in exchange for an agreed-upon settlement amount. This is then put into writing and reviewed by the court, where it then becomes a legally binding contract.
If both parties can’t come to an agreement, the case will then go to trial. While the vast majority of cases settle before going to trial, there are some events in which both sides simply cannot agree. Trial is where the court will hear both sides and the judge will then make a decision on who the at-fault party is. Once this decision is made, each side has a set time limit to decide if they want to accept or file an appeal. Going to trial is typically both expensive and time-consuming, which is why it is usually seen as the last resort.
For more information on how GKBM can help with your personal injury claim, contact us today. We offer free case evaluations, schedule today by calling (901) 526-2126.