Many people go through their life, fortunate enough to never experience an accident, never suffer an injury, and never have to go through a personal injury case. Unfortunately, many more people are injured in accidents caused by other people and do have to through the personal injury process.
Although you are not required to have an attorney to file and pursue damages, it is usually in the victim’s best interest and greatly increases their chances of success in their claim if they have a seasoned personal injury attorney advocating for them.
The process itself can be intimidating and confusing, especially for people not familiar with the legal process. Your personal injury lawyer Harrisonburg VA respects can go over the entire process, but the following is an overview of how the process typically works:
- The victim is injured.
- They seek out medical treatment
- They retain the services of a personal injury attorney.
- The victim continues with their medical treatments.
- The victim is unable to work while they are recovering from their injuries.
- The attorney files a claim with the at-fault parties and their insurance company, notifying them he or she is representing the victim.
- The attorney will also begin gathering evidence in the event negotiations with the insurance company fail to result in a fair settlement and a lawsuit is filed.
- The victim continues their medical treatment.
- The attorney continues to prepare the claim, gathering all of the medical records and medical bills, as well as verification of lost wages and other benefits from the victim’s employer.
- Each time the victim’s medical status is updated, the attorney provides this information to the insurance company.
- The victim finally is recovered enough to return to work. This information is relayed by the attorney to the insurance company.
- The attorney obtains the final amount of wage the victim lost while recovering.
- The victim’s medical treatment for the injuries they sustained ends. The doctor will make a determination that either the victim is totally healed or they will suffer residual issues from the injuries for which there is no other treatment options.
- The attorney will obtain these final medical reports, as well as the rest of any medical bills that still remain.
- The attorney will determine what a fair settlement amount for the injuries are based on the total amount of medical bills, the total amount of lost wages, the pain and suffering the victim has gone through, the emotional anguish the victim has suffered, and any permanent disability the injury has left. There may also be other losses the victim has suffered that the attorney will calculate into the amount of financial compensation the victim is entitled to.
- The attorney will send the at-fault party’s insurance company all of the victim’s medical records, medical bills, loss of income verification, and any other pertinent evidence. This will begin the settlement negotiation process.
- The insurance company will offer a settlement amount.
- The attorney will discuss the settlement offer with the victim. Either the victim will accept or refuse the offer. If the offer is refused, negotiations will continue.
- If the parties are unable to agree on an amount, then the attorney will file a personal injury lawsuit in a civil court.
- A trial will take place where both sides will present their case. A jury will decide if the victim deserves compensation and how much that compensation should be.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from MartinWren, P.C., for their insight into personal injury law.