Types of Compensation Available in Personal Injury Cases
If you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, then you may have a right to file a claim against the at-fault party, seeking compensation. You may pursue compensation for:
- Present and future medical expenses related to the injury
- Lost wages if you are unable to return to work for a period of time due to your injury
- Property damage or vehicle damage
- Pain and suffering including emotional trauma and mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Punitive damages, if deemed appropriate
What Evidence Is Needed for a Personal Injury Claim?
If you are planning to file a personal injury claim, you will need evidence to support your case. An experienced personal injury attorney will know exactly what types of evidence you need and will move quickly to preserve evidence to back your claim. The types of evidence that our personal injury attorneys seek include:
- Police or accident reports, which usually provide details about the scene of the accident, injuries, vehicle damage, witness statements, contact details for everyone involved in the accident, an initial determination of fault, and more.
- Photo and video evidence, such as photos and videos you may have taken at the scene of the accident, or surveillance camera footage from nearby security cameras that may have recorded the accident.
- Witness testimony, if any motorists or bystanders observed the accident. Bystanders can provide an objective view of the accident, and their corroboration can help strengthen your claim.
- Expert testimony, if your attorney decides it is appropriate. If you were injured in a car accident, your attorney may consult a crash reconstruction expert to recreate the scene in an attempt to demonstrate how the accident played out.
- Medical records, including documentation detailing your prognosis, recommended course of treatment, hospital and surgery bills, and more.
Steps to Take After a Personal Injury Accident
Being in an accident can be confusing and traumatizing. Familiarizing yourself with what to do after sustaining an injury can put you on the right path. After a personal injury accident, you should take the following steps:
- Seek medical attention –Seeking a medical evaluation after an accident can provide documentation of your injuries and how they occurred. Insurance companies will look for medical documentation when considering your injury claim.
- Gather medical documents – Keep a file containing all of your hospital bills, prescription labels, surgery invoices, physical therapy bills, and more.
- Don’t post on social media – Insurance companies and defense lawyers can use anything you post on social media against you to undermine your claim. If you post photos of a recent outing or vacation, for example, the insurer may use your photos to contend your injuries are less serious than you claim. Refrain from posting anything on social media until the claim is resolved.
- Consult with an attorney – Working with an attorney is often your best shot at getting the fair compensation you need to recover financially after an accident.
Tips for Getting the Best Personal Injury Settlement
If you were injured due to someone else’s negligence, you deserve to be fairly compensated. Follow these tips for getting the best personal injury settlement possible:
- Gather evidence – Preserve valuable evidence of the accident, such as photos and videos of the accident scene, a copy of the police accident report, and medical records.
- Seek medical treatment – Get treated as soon as possible after the accident.
- Calculate damages –An attorney can gather your medical bills and accident-related losses and estimate the value of your case. It’s a good idea to have an idea of the full extent of your financial and non-financial losses.
- Don’t accept any initial offers – If the insurance company makes a quick settlement offer, it probably isn’t very generous, even if it may seem that way. Don’t sign anything presented by an insurance company without consulting a personal injury lawyer.
- Consult with an attorney – Trying to navigate the claims process on your own while recovering from your injuries is never a good idea. An experienced personal injury attorney at Herrman & Herrman will have the time, knowledge, and resources to build a successful case and pursue the compensation you need.
Steps in a Personal Injury Lawsuit
In some cases, you and your attorney may not be able to reach a settlement agreement with the insurance company. In that case, we may consult with you about whether to file a personal injury lawsuit and take your case to court.
There are usually several steps involved in a personal injury lawsuit:
- Your attorney will file a complaint in court on your behalf. The complaint will then be served to the defendant, who will have a period of time to respond.
- Your case will go through the discovery process. During this process, your attorney will exchange information and documentation with the other side.
- Many cases will need to go through mediation before proceeding to trial. Mediation is a last-ditch attempt to get both sides to come to a settlement agreement.
- If mediation falls through, the case then goes to trial. Your case will be presented in front of a judge or jury, who will return a verdict based on the evidence presented in court.
Average Time to Settle a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Every personal injury lawsuit is different. A variety of factors will influence how long your case takes. For some, it may take months to resolve. or others it may take years. While it may be tempting to accept a quick payout, it’s important to understand that staying the course may help you maximize your compensation in the end.
If you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, contact our personal injury attorneys at Herrman & Herrman today. We will evaluate your case and discuss your legal options. Reach out today for a free consultation.