What You Need to Know About the Personal Injury Process
Before you pursue a personal injury claim, there are many things that you need to know about the personal injury process. MJB Law Group can answer all your questions and explain your legal options when you are seeking financial compensation. We help clients in Irvine and throughout California.
The personal injury process can be both lengthy and complex, especially when you do not understand what is happening. It helps to understand the steps that need to happen before you can receive a settlement check. When you understand what is involved in the process, it will reinforce your need for an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Our attorneys fight on your behalf. At MJB Law Group, our Tustin personal injury lawyers are here to help you after a serious injury accident. We know the local streets, intersections, courts, and insurance carriers that will be a part of your case. This knowledge and local experience help us gain the upper edge when negotiating and litigating serious injury cases.
Meet with an Attorney
The first step of the insurance company claims process is when you meet with and select an attorney for your case. When you are dealing with the insurance company, you need someone with the necessary experience and expertise to stand up for your legal rights when necessary. You should hire an attorney as soon as possible after your accident.
Lawyer Compiles Claim
Your attorney will assist in gathering necessary information to pursue your claim. There are two important pieces of evidence that you will need to support your claim:
- First, evidence that shows that the insurance company’s policyholders were to blame for your accident that your lawyer has gathered after investigation of your claim. This generally will come from police traffic collision reports and/or witness statements; and
- Second, records and documentation that demonstrate the extent of your injuries and support the amount that you are requesting in compensation. This generally will come from medical records and bills.
Your lawyer will either file the claim with the insurance company or send them a demand letter for money, depending on your own specific case. Once you file the claim, you must then wait for the insurance company to respond. The response time depends on both the individual insurance company involved and the complexity of your case. Some insurance companies are known for taking longer to respond, although they could face consequences of their own if they demonstrate unreasonable delay responding to your case.
Insurance Company Responds
At some point, the insurance company will respond to your claim. Their response will be one of the following:
- They will deny your claim in its entirety; or
- They will make you a settlement offer.
Even when the insurance company has made you a settlement offer, it is far from the end of your claim. The initial settlement offer is often for pennies on the dollar of what the insurance company really owes you. Essentially, it is just the beginning of what could be a long negotiating process.
The responsible party has a legal obligation to fully pay you for all the damages that you have suffered. Your accident damages break down into:
- Economic damages, representing money that came out of your pocket or did not come into it because of your injuries; and
- Non-economic damages that compensate you for the experience that you have endured since the accident, including pain and suffering.
Before you can get the money you deserve, you will likely need to exchange multiple offers and counteroffers with the insurance company. Remember, you are under absolutely no obligation to take what they offer you. An experienced personal injury attorney knows how to negotiate with the insurance company.
Just because you have filed a claim does not mean that you have waived your legal right to sue. If you cannot reach a settlement agreement with the insurance company, or they have denied your claim, you can file a lawsuit against the defendant in court. Insurance companies do not like litigation because each case costs them money to defend. Hiring a personal injury lawyer sends a message to the insurance company that they cannot take liberties with your legal rights, and you will file a lawsuit if necessary.
Contact a Skilled Personal Injury Attorney at MJB Law Group You Can Trust
If you or a loved one are injured, MJB Law Group is ready to help you in any way we can. Due to our years of experience, our personal injury lawyers can guide you through your case and do our very best to make this process as easy as possible for you while you get back on your feet.
We have assisted many injured plaintiffs in Tustin over the years and look forward to helping you too. Call us today at (949) 266-0880 or fill out our confidential contact form.
Michael J. Berry is the founder and principal attorney of MJB Law Group. His complete focus within the legal field revolves around litigation, as he solely champions the causes of employees whose labor rights have been transgressed, as well as regular individuals who have suffered an injury due to another person’s carelessness. Mr. Berry is Board Member for the Orange County Trial Lawyers Association and also a member of the California Employment Lawyers Association, Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles, and Consumer Attorneys of California. Learn more about Michael here.