Whether you’ve been in a car accident or you were injured on private property, Ask a Lawyer: Six Legal Steps to Take After a Personal you are entitled to compensation for your medical bills, emotional suffering, and more. But for many people, it can be overwhelming and confusing to seek reparations for your injuries. This is one of many reasons why it’s a good idea to hire a personal injury lawyer. Ask a Lawyer: Six Legal Steps to Take After a Personal
Ask a Lawyer: Six Legal Steps to Take After a Personal Injury in College Station
1. Find a Personal Injury Lawyer
The first thing you will need to do is locate Ask a Lawyer: Six Legal Steps to Take After a Personal personal injury lawyers in College Station who can handle your case. It’s important to pick a lawyer who specializes in the specific type of injury you have. For example, if you were injured in a car accident, then a car accident lawyer is more appropriate than a lawyer who focuses only on medical malpractice cases.
Of course, many factors will determine which lawyer you choose. For some people, a local lawyer is preferable, while other people consider payment for legal fees. Fortunately, most legal firms operate on a contingency fee basis for personal injury cases, which means the payment for your legal services will be subtracted from your settlement.
2. Keep Track of Your Medical Records
It’s also important to keep track of your medical records after an accident. Starting from the first treatment you receive after your injury, all of your medical records are relevant to your case. For example, the very first medical records will establish when you are injured and the extent of your injuries. Your medical records can also include any prescriptions, ongoing treatments, physical therapy, surgeries, or other medical services that are related to your injury.
It’s understandable to lose track of some of your medical records when you are severely injured. According to the Texas Medical Board, you can request your medical records directly from your doctor or the hospital that treated you via a form sent by certified mail. The physician or hospital will have 15 days to send your medical records to you. Your lawyer can also request medical records on your behalf.
3. Contact Your Insurance
Soon after you are injured, you may need to contact your insurance company. Contacting your insurance company to file a claim will help you pay for medical bills, or receive a settlement for your injuries. You may need a lawyer to guide you through this process, particularly if your insurance company is reluctant to offer a settlement.
That said, not all personal injuries will allow you to contact an insurance company. For example, while you can file a claim with your car insurance company after a car accident, if you’re injured on private property, then you will not be able to contact an insurance company to file a claim. Rather, it’s likely that the insurance company that insures the private property will contact you instead.
Why You Should Let Your Lawyer Handle the Insurance Company
Having a lawyer by your side will help you communicate with the insurance company. It’s vital to be careful with your words when you speak to an insurance company since anything you say might be used against you to deny your claim. To be safe, you should direct all correspondence with an insurance company to your lawyer.
4. File a Police Report
In some cases, you will need to file a police report for your accident. In Texas, you will have 10 days after the accident to file a police report. However, while police reports are common with car accidents, not all personal injury cases will necessitate a police report. A lawyer can advise you on whether you need to file a police report for your case.
5. Negotiate Your Settlement
You also need to negotiate your settlement. Most of the time, an insurance company will contact you with a settlement offer. You should have your lawyer assess this initial offer to determine whether it is fair and offers adequate compensation for your injuries and personal damages. If the initial offer is not adequate, you can reject the first offer and begin negotiating for a better settlement.
6. Go to Court
If your lawyer and insurance company are unable to reach a fair settlement agreement, then your case will graduate to a court trial. In court, the settlement for your case will be determined by an impartial judge and jury. A court trial can take several months or years, so ideally, you will want to finalize your settlement outside of court, so you can receive compensation sooner.
After you’ve been injured in any type of accident, the first thing you should do is find a local personal injury attorney who will help you gather evidence and handle your case. In addition to filing a police report when applicable, you will need to contact your insurance company to file a claim and keep track of your medical records. If you cannot negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company, then your injury claim will be settled in court.
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