What to Know About Filing a Personal Injury Claim
Few people are prepared for the consequences of a serious personal injury. When a major accident occurs, it is understandable that most people focus on recovering from their injury or taking care of their injured loved ones. However, in many cases the first hours and days after these accidents are critical for collecting and preserving key evidence which may later play an important role in establishing how the accident happened and who was at fault.
Unfortunately, the victim of a personal injury is often the last person to begin collecting evidence that may help their case. Often times, there is a delay in collecting this evidence simply because a victim is not sure if they have had an injury that warrants legal action. Individuals who have been in a construction accident, bicycle or pedestrian-related accident, auto or truck collision, or any accident related to a product or service may have cause to file a claim.
A good personal injury lawyer will jump on this effort as soon as they are contacted by an injured person or their family representative. During this early stage, the attorney will go to work immediately assembling a team to find out how the accident happened, interview witnesses, and preserve as much evidence as possible.
Making A Personal Injury Claim: Should I or Shouldn’t I?
The decision about whether or not to make a claim can usually wait until after the initial case investigation is completed by your personal injury attorney. Sometimes, insurance coverage exists. Sometimes, it does not. Most of the time, accident victims are not aware one way or the other of the coverage they have.
For example, personal injury protection (PIP) covers certain expenses such as medical costs and wage loss in almost any type of personal injury regardless of who is at fault. Similarly, many liability insurance policies contain medical costs coverage provisions that pay for medical expenses. These coverage provisions are there for the asking, but few lay people know that the coverage exists.
Making a Workers’ Compensation Claim: Should I or Shouldn’t I?
In the event of an on-the-job injury, decisions may need to be made on whether or not a “third party” claim should be made in a workers’ compensation case, an application be made for short or long-term disability benefits, or whether to file a tort claim notice if a public entity is responsible for an accident. These are all complicated legal questions that require the assistance of a personal injury attorney experienced in these areas. Victims that feel they may have multiple avenues to explore may want to choose a law firm that offers a wide range of legal services so that these various claims can be coordinated responsibly. There is great benefit to a firm having the ability to make “ancillary” claims aside from the primary personal injury claim, such as in the areas of Social Security, short and long-term disability, and workers’ compensation.
In many cases, service providers may expect some repayment for services, and liens may be filed or claimed by medical insurance or workers’ compensation carriers. It is essential that an injured person fully understand their rights in regard to claimed repayments. An experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to provide you insight on your entitlement to insurance benefits and help you should these benefits be disputed.