Filing a personal injury lawsuit is not a familiar process for the average person living in Alabama. If this is your first time as a claimant of a personal injury case, you need an experienced Alabama personal injury lawyer to help you navigate the ins and outs of your case.
As personal injury experts, we know how grueling the process can be. One of our most frequently asked questions is “how long does a personal injury case take?” Unfortunately, we can’t estimate the exact timeline of your case, as every case is different. We can, however, give you a step-by-step summary of a typical personal injury claim.
#1: Get Medical Attention
If you get into an accident and suffer serious injuries, you must get medical attention right away. The longer you wait to seek medical care, the longer it takes for you to recover––this can drastically affect your claim. If you decide not to seek treatment, it will be much harder to prove your claim.
#2: Gather Evidence
After you seek medical treatment, you need to make sure you have all pertinent evidence from the scene of the accident. You should have the name, address, driver’s license number, vehicle plate number, and insurance information from the other driver that was involved, as well as photo or video evidence of damage done to your vehicle. You should also include your medical bills, receipts, and expenses as part of your evidence.
#3: Start an Investigation
Once you have gathered all the evidence you can, your attorney will review it and then start an investigation on their own. During the investigation, they will focus on the injuries you sustained in the accident, who should be liable for your injuries, and how much compensation you should pursue from the offending party. You must gather enough persuasive evidence so that your case can move smoothly during the investigation process.
#4: Evaluate Your Medical Records
Generally, your attorney will need to evaluate your medical records before speaking to your insurance company to make sure they understand the injuries for which you’re seeking compensation. Sometimes, for more complex medical issues, your attorney will need to seek advice from a medical expert to find out how these injuries could impair you long term.
#5: Make a Settlement Demand
Once your attorney has gathered enough evidence to support your case, they will submit a demand to your insurance company. This process can take some time, as your insurance company has to review the demand. After this, your insurer will accept liability and pay the damages or make an offer that doesn’t match the demand; this is when negotiations start.
#6: Go to Trial
Your attorney will continue to negotiate with the insurance company until one of two things happens:
- The insurance company makes an offer that you are willing to accept.
- You and your attorney determine that the offer is not sufficient, and the case proceeds to trial.
#7: Collect and Pay Out Your Award
After you accept your settlement or receive a jury verdict in your favor, your attorney will take care of legal fees and costs you owe, i.e., liens attached to your recovery. After legal fees are taken care of, you’ll receive the amount owed to you.
Wettermark Keith has built one of the largest workers’ compensation and Social Security practices in Alabama and represents thousands of small automobile accident claimants each year. Call us now, and we’ll get you the compensation you deserve.