When you are injured in an accident, it can be life-changing, especially if your injuries are serious ones. Therefore, the time after an accident is often a stressful one. You must look after yourself when injured, while it is also key to explore your legal options.
Often, people feel alone and worried after an accident, so seeking legal help can seem impossible. It is, however, really easy to get the legal help you need, making your situation seem a lot easier to manage. Let’s take a look at your legal options after an accident, why they are important, and what you can expect from legal proceedings.
Types of Accidents
Accidents happen, that’s just a fact of life. Most commonly, accidents take place on the roads. In the USA alone, there are over six million car accidents per year. That’s roughly 16,000 accidents per day, which is a huge number. Unsurprisingly, this is where most Americans are injured every year, but according to injury attorneys in Jackson Mississippi, accidents are also common in workplaces and daily life, in public settings. Unfortunately, there’s no way of always avoiding accidents, so let’s take a look at what you should do afterward.
Finding a Lawyer
First thing’s first, find yourself a lawyer. Look around your local area for specialists in injury law. Search for a personal injury lawyer and see who your local specialized lawyer is. It is important to find a lawyer who works specifically in this field, as well as one who is trained or works in your state. Laws change from state to state, so a local lawyer is best. Specialization is key as you need someone who understands this type of law; a property lawyer, for example, would not know enough about accident claims to help you as efficiently.
Personal Injury Law
For the most part, personal injury law is defined by accidents occurring that cause damage to the human body rather than to property. Obviously, both may be included, but the personal injury side is key. With personal injury law, the statute of limitations is usually three years, though this can vary. This means that you have three years in which to file a claim before the statute of limitations passes. This is in place due to the fact that after this period, it is harder to gather accurate evidence. Regardless, it’s always best to reach out to an attorney as soon as possible. Statistics show that the sooner the case begins, the better the outcome usually is.
Another type of accident or injury law centers around medical malpractice. This is when your accident or injury was caused by a medical professional being negligent in their work. In these cases, the statute of limitations is often only two years. So, once again, reach out to a specialized team as soon as possible.
The Legal Process
What happens once you find a lawyer to work with? The legal process will begin straight away, once you’ve settled with your legal team. There are a few key steps, outlined below.
Discuss Your Case
Firstly, you need to discuss your case at a private meeting with a law firm. At this point, there will be no obligation from yourself or your lawyers to work together. This is your chance to meet different lawyers and see who you like, while it is also their chance to examine your case and offer you advice on whether they think they can take the case for you.
Once you settle on your choice of attorney or firm, they will begin to build your case with your help. They will help you seek evidence from the police – if involved – as well as the scene of the accident and from any witnesses. You must record everything that happened during and since the accident. Things like logbooks, police reports, and CCTV evidence can all be used to build your case.
Seek Medical Treatment
Your attorneys will also require evidence of your injury, including any medical treatment you have received or reports written about it. This means it’s very important for you to seek medical attention. Whether it costs you money or not should not be a worry, as your legal team will seek compensation to cover all previous and ongoing medical expenses.
Speak to Your Insurance Company
If your accident was on the roads, it’s important to file a claim with your insurance company. They will help you get a new vehicle or get your current vehicle repaired. Your insurance may also cover your immediate medical bills, even if you have to pay a fee. This, again, will be used in evidence, so failing to speak to your insurance company could jeopardize your future compensation amount.
Once all evidence is gathered, your legal team will reach out to whoever caused your injury, whether that’s an individual, workplace, or otherwise. At this point, they will communicate with the opposition’s legal team and offer a recommended settlement amount based on the evidence they have gathered. Often, a counteroffer will be placed on the table, and it is up to you and your team to decide whether you think the settlement is fair.
No Settlement? File a Lawsuit
If the opposition refuses to settle, it’s time to move to the final stage of legal proceedings: filing a lawsuit. Often, cases don’t come to this, as settlements are usually agreed on. However, if needs be, your best chance of winning any compensation will now be through the courts. Once again, your legal team will advise you every step of the way. It’s in their best interests to win you as much money as possible, as this will help them earn more money.
These are all of your legal options and things you need to consider after an accident. Hopefully, your legal team will do great work and get you a high-value settlement, helping you rest and recover easier after the accident. If you do have to go to court, it may take a little longer.