Domestic violence was a part of my family's life for years. When I made the decision to leave with my children, I had to rely on the law to provide the protection we needed. Sometimes, the system does not work as fast as we want. I soon learned that going at it alone without any guidance caused significant delays. I created this blog to help others who are seeking legal means to deal with an abusive ex. By making the right moves, it is possible to get the necessary protections in place so that you can also live a happier and healthier life.
After being injured in a vehicle accident caused by another person, you will not only be in pain. There will be bills to pay when leaving the hospital and others when recovering at home. When you are severely hurt, it's obvious that you can't work anymore. So, what do you do next? Should you get a personal injury attorney? If so, how long after your car accident should you file your personal injury claim? Furthermore, should you take the driver who hurt you to court or try to negotiate a settlement outside the courts?
A personal Injury claim vs. a personal injury lawsuit
Note that filing a claim is not the same thing as filing a lawsuit. A personal injury claim is usually between you and the other driver's insurer. So you will require a lawyer to be the intermediary and ensure that you end up satisfied with the final settlement. On the other hand, a personal injury lawsuit refers to a court case that is filed when a personal injury claim process fails. Thus, the jury determines if the insurer's claims adjuster was right to say that their client was not at fault.
When is the right time to file a claim?
As you might have discovered, filing a claim comes before filing a lawsuit. The latter should only be an option if the former fails. The best time to file a claim is soon after you are injured due to another motorist's fault. The driver's insurance company will then issue a claim number and assign the case to a claims adjuster. This professional will then open the claim and get in touch with you to negotiate a settlement.
To settle this type of case, the claims adjuster will ask to see evidence that the accident was triggered by their insured person (the driver at fault). The proof should also demonstrate that their client was negligent and that your injuries are bad enough to deserve a settlement. To get this proof, the claims adjuster might have to get the police statement and evaluate your own evidence. During this time your personal injury attorney should take full control of the case.
Filing a lawsuit
A court case will start when a settlement with a claims adjuster can't be reached. While a negotiated settlement is usually the best outcome, sometimes a lengthy and costly lawsuit can't be avoided. Before then, however, you have another option: arbitration. This should be done before filing a lawsuit. During the arbitration process, both sides must select a thirty party called an arbitrator or arbiter to come and listen to each side.
After this, the arbiter makes a decision that cannot be appealed. However, your personal injury attorney should ensure that you will at least get some amount of cash. If you want to file a lawsuit, then learn about the Statutes of Limitations. This stipulates the time limit for filing and if you come after that your right to sue is lost. So, find out your state's Statue of Limitations prior to taking your personal injury claim to court.
Contact a car accident attorney about your case to determine which course of action you should take.Share