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A Guide to Preparing Your Personal Injury Claim

A Guide to Preparing Your Personal Injury Claim

The time immediately after suffering an unexpected injury can be stressful and confusing. While your first priority should be to seek medical attention and protect your health, you should also begin thinking about your legal options. Whether your injuries were the result of a car accident, a slip and fall, a dangerous product, or medical malpractice, you may have grounds to pursue compensation by filing a personal injury claim against the responsible parties. But where do you even begin?

Seek Medical Attention

As stated above, your first step should be to see a doctor as soon as possible and receive treatment. Aside from the obvious health reasons, doing this will help your claim by establishing a medical record of your injuries and treatment. The longer you wait, the greater the chances are that the responsible party or their insurance will imply that your injuries were the result of another cause. In some cases, waiting too long to see a doctor can cause your claim to be outright denied for reasons of negligence, as this can lead to a worsening of your condition.

During this time, keep a record of all expenses you incur, including:

  • Medical bills
  • Prescription drug costs
  • Medical copays
  • Lost wages from time away from work
  • Transportation costs to medical appointments
  • Rehabilitation costs

Keeping track of these expenses is vital to allow you to maximize your claim and pursue compensation for all incurred costs. It is also recommended you keep a journal documenting your levels of pain and all hardships caused by your injuries, as this can be crucial to help determine a fair level of compensable pain and suffering.

Gather Evidence

Your next priority is to gather evidence and write down as much information as you can about your accident while your memory is still fresh. Depending on the nature of your accident, this may include:

  • Taking photographs of the damage or accident scene
  • Recording the names and contact information of witnesses
  • Writing down important details about possible causes of your accident
  • Examining police reports
  • Making copies of medical records

This will help you to establish the other party’s liability for your injuries and strengthen your chances of securing compensation. In most personal injury cases, liability is based on the legal concept of negligence. Others, such as injuries from dangerous products or intentional assaults, may instead involve the legal bases of strict liability or intentional wrongdoing. An attorney can help determine which of these applies to your case.

Do I File an Insurance Claim or a Lawsuit?

Once you have seen a doctor and have collected the necessary evidence of your injuries, you will need to determine if your injuries are covered under the at-fault party’s insurance. While many injury claims are settled through out-of-court negotiations with the responsible party’s insurers and their attorneys, others may require you to file a civil lawsuit and potentially pursue litigation to recover damages.

Generally speaking, personal injury lawsuits are only required if the negotiation process between you and the at-fault party’s insurance breaks down, or if the at-fault party does not have insurance at all. Breakdowns can occur over disagreements of fault or when an acceptable settlement amount cannot be reached. In any case, it is best to discuss your case with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney to determine the most appropriate course of action.

Contact Michael J. Doyle Attorney at Law

Regardless of the specifics, any personal injury case requires a detailed understanding of the facts, the law, and the associated processes – all of which can be incredibly complex. If an accident has impacted your life, contact Michael J. Doyle, Attorney at Law today. Having protected the rights of the injured for more than 10 years, our Albuquerque personal injury lawyers can handle the legal heavy lifting on your behalf and provide the powerful support you need to maximize your financial recovery.

To find out more about how our firm can assist you, call (505) 219-2176 today.

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