‘Personal injury’ is the legal term for an injury caused by another person’s carelessness. If you have suffered an injury because of negligence, then you may be entitled to make a personal injury claim to recover financial losses caused as a result of your injury. If you have no previous experience in law, then making a personal injury claim can be quite confusing. The law is incredibly complex and requires years of study.
This article will tell you six things that you should keep in mind when you are making a personal injury claim:
You Are Not Guaranteed Compensation
Something that’s worth reminding yourself is that you are not guaranteed compensation. Many people make personal injury claims wrongly believing that they are automatically entitled to it. This is not true. You need to first prove that the other person was to blame, show evidence that you have been injured, and explain why your injuries are worthy of compensation. If you were at fault, then the other person could end up receiving compensation. Even if you have a strong case, don’t go into it blindly thinking that you’ll win.
Statute of Limitations
Like much in life, things can get in the way and your personal injury claim can be pushed back until you have more free time to dedicate to it. Unfortunately, most personal injury cases have a strict statute of limitations. Claims must be made within three years of the date of your injury. If you delay your claim any longer than that, then you will be unable to take it to court. Thankfully, if you hire a qualified and experienced lawyer, they will handle the case for you, which allows you to focus on commitments.
Self-representation is one of the worst things that you can do. If you have suffered a personal injury, the stakes are too high for you to risk jeopardizing your claim. Hire a trained, professional lawyer, and allow them to do all of the work for you. Insurance adjusters are notorious for low-balling people. A lawyer will be able to argue with them for more compensation. If it goes to court, they will be able to represent you and aggressively advocate for your compensation in a courtroom. No matter how confident you are about your own legal abilities, don’t risk it.
Take As Much Evidence As You Can
Your claim will largely rely upon the evidence that you have gathered to support it. Keep records of when the accident happened, who was responsible for it, how it happened, and how you were injured. You should also get a written note from your doctor’s surgery confirming your injuries. Legal experts recommend, in fact, getting two or three doctor’s notes to confirm your injuries.
If your case does go to court, the insurance company or other person’s attorney will do their best to discredit you. A doctor’s note will prove that you were injured. You should also provide evidence that shows you have been unable to work if this is the case. For example, show a leave of absence certificate or bank statements proving that you have been in receipt of disability benefits.
Photographs and Videos
While written statements, doctor’s notes, and witnesses are all great ways to prove that you have been injured, one of the best ways is to take photographic or video evidence. Most of us walk around with smartphones in our pockets all of the time. All that you have to do is whip your phone out, take a photograph of your injuries, the person responsible, and the location, and you have hard evidence that you were not at fault.
A lot of pedestrians will video the aftermath of accidents too, so if you do not have any actual video or photographic evidence yourself, you could make an appeal to the local community and ask anyone to come forward with their own evidence.
Report Your Accident
It’s very important that you report your accident, either with your doctor or the police. For car crashes, you always have to report your accident to the police. For other injuries, you don’t necessarily have to. As you have up to three years to make a claim, it’s good to get into the habit of reporting instances of personal injury when they do occur.
This allows you to make a claim a year or even two years later if you feel that it is necessary and that you want compensation.
Personal injury cases can be a nightmare to deal with, especially if you have no prior legal experience. All of the points mentioned here deserve some thought and some contemplation. While you can’t predict a personal injury, you can prepare.