every stage of a personal injury claim

What to Expect at Each Stage of a Personal Injury Claim

You’ve been injured through no fault of your own. Even worse, someone else was directly responsible for your injuries, and now you’re stuck with a growing pile of medical bills and no income while you recover. A personal injury claim can help you recoup your financial losses and hold the other party accountable for their negligence.

If you’re not sure what to expect in a personal injury claim, having the right legal time by your side is crucial. Call Burns, Cunningham & Mackey at 251-432-0612 to schedule a consultation now.

Talking to an Attorney

Before you talk to anyone else about your accident, you should get in touch with an Alabama personal injury attorney. If it’s clear that the other party is at fault, you can expect to hear from their insurance company fairly quickly. They will want to settle the claim for as little as possible before you learn more about your options. Don’t talk to them—anything you tell them can be used to diminish the value of your claim. Instead, contact an attorney.

An attorney will get your side of the story, learn more about your injuries, and tell you whether or not you have a valid claim. Your attorney will also give you some advice about how to conduct yourself during the process, and whether you should return to work after an injury. The good news is that most firms have free initial consultations, so you aren’t out anything if you decide not to move forward with a claim. On top of that, most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis, so you don’t pay out of pocket.

Claim Investigation

Once you’ve found an attorney to take your case, they will begin investigating your claim. The more information they have about the accident and your injuries, the more prepared they will be to take on the insurance company. During your meetings, they’ll ask you about your injuries, previous injuries that may have been worsened during the accident, and any treatment you are receiving. They will also take a deep dive into your medical records and bills to get a better understanding of what it will take for you to recover fully.

They will also look into the accident that caused your injuries. They may review photographs of the accident scene and your injuries, look at video footage, talk to eyewitnesses, and even speak to expert witnesses. This will help them determine fault. When an attorney has substantial evidence proving the other party’s liability, it is much harder for the insurance company to deny a fair settlement.

Demand Letter and Negotiations

Upon deciding how much you should receive for your injuries and other losses the attorney will draft a demand letter. The demand letter provides an overview of your claim and reasoning for the amount being requested. This leads to negotiations with the other party’s insurance company.

Most claims are settled at this point, as going to court is risky for both parties. This is especially true in Alabama, which recognizes contributory negligence. This means that if a jury decides you are at all responsible for the accident that caused your injuries, you cannot recover any compensation. Going to court is very risky for an Alabama accident victim.

Settlement or Court Preparations

If your case settles, the insurance company will pay. Everything that has to be paid out before it reaches you is taken care of, including doctor’s bills, anything paid by your health insurance, and your attorney fees. The remainder goes to you.

If your case does not settle, your attorney will move forward with a lawsuit. This significantly changes the timeline of your claim and may require months of additional preparation. From there, you go through the steps of discovery, mediation, and trial. Your case may settle at any point in this process, and many cases do still settle before reaching the courtroom. Your attorney will help you understand the possible outcomes of your court case.

Start Your Personal Injury Claim with Burns, Cunningham & Mackey

The team at Burns, Cunningham & Mackey is here to help you if you’ve been injured in a car crash, slip and fall, or another type of accident. We’ll work tirelessly to build a strong case and fight for the compensation you are owed. Get started right now by calling us at 251-432-0612 or reaching out to our team online.

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