6 Steps of Filing a Personal Injury Claim
Filing a personal injury claim may seem confusing, stressful, and difficult, especially after you’ve been injured in an accident. Thankfully, an experienced attorney can help you through the process and prepare you for your personal injury claim.
If you want to learn more about filing a personal injury claim, contact the Phoenix personal injury attorneys at ELG Law. Our team of personal injury lawyers is here to help you today with a free, no-hassle consultation.
Consult Your Attorney
First, it’s vital that you contact an attorney and determine if you have a valid claim. In the personal injury claim process, the extent and severity of your injuries and your entitled damages will come into play, so it’s important to learn more about your legal options. Keep in mind that the statute of limitations in Arizona is two years, so you only have two years from the date of your injury to file.
After you’ve hired your lawyer, they will investigate your claim. The process of investigation may include reviews of police reports, witness testimony, photographs of the scene of the accident, medical records, and cell phone records. An accident reconstructionist may also be called in to help the investigation.
Filing the Demand and Lawsuit
Once your claim has been investigated, your lawyer will file a demand for a settlement. This demand will outline your case, including the damages and liability you’re demanding. Your letter will then be reviewed by the defendant. After the defendant reviews your demand, they may reject, deny or make a counteroffer to you, the plaintiff.
However, if a settlement isn’t reached, your lawyer will file a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf.
At that point, your lawyer will enter the discovery phase. This means that both parties will obtain evidence from the other side and evaluate the case from all angles to prepare for trial. Your lawyer will examine how the defendant’s lawyer built their case, for example.
Mediation or Trial and Ruling
From there, arbitration, a type of alternative dispute resolution, will be a consideration. This takes place outside of court and is not formal like a trial. Rather than disputing in front of a judge, the defendant and plaintiff dispute their case in front of an arbitrator, a non-partisan third-party. In Arizona, arbitration is mandatory for disputes valued under $50,000.
If you don’t have to go through arbitration, though, then mediation may be completed. During mediation, both parties attempt to reach an agreement and avoid trial. Your attorney will work on your behalf in mediation to try and secure a fair settlement.
But if the parties involved still cannot come to an agreement, the case goes to trial. When a case goes to trial, a judge or jury will evaluate the facts, determine fault, and finally, award damages if the personal injury victim wins. The losing party may file an appeal following a ruling. Remember that trials are expensive and time-consuming, so most attorneys will try to settle beforehand.
Personal Injury Attorney in Phoenix
Personal injury claims can be daunting, but they’re important to pursue if you’ve sustained injuries in an accident. If you have questions about your case, contact your personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer will help you organize the facts of your case and explore your options.
Contact our Phoenix personal injury lawyers at ELG Law today. Call us at (623) 562-3838 for a free, no-hassle consultation.