If you’ve been injured in an accident, you’ll want to file a personal injury claim. No matter the extent of your injury at the time, it’s important to document even the smallest injuries if these cause issues later.
These claims enable you to receive monetary benefits from the defendant in your case. To make sure you’re receiving full benefits, consulting a personal injury lawyer is recommended. At K LAW, PLLC, we make it our goal to ensure our clients are properly taken care of after these accidents. What follows is our guide to filing a personal injury claim.
What is a Personal Injury Claim?
A claim based on a personal injury can be filed in any event that you’re injured due to the negligence of another person. These types of claims are set in place so that everyone can receive compensation for damages or losses. The reason people carry insurance policies is for protection against situations where harm can occur, and a personal injury claim can be filed against someone’s homeowner, property, or car insurance to receive monetary compensation.
Types of Personal Injury Claims
An injury claim can be made on your behalf from the smallest circumstances, such as a dog bite to major motor vehicle accidents. Not every case will lead to justice of liability; however, unless you have a personal injury lawyer who can represent your case. Here are typical types of injury claims that can lead to compensation:
This type of injury claim includes auto, truck, and motorcycle collisions. Car accidents are typically the result of someone not following the rules of the road. Generally, the person inflicting careless driving can be held responsible if all the proper steps have been taken at the time of the incident.
PEDESTRIAN AND BICYCLE ACCIDENTS
Anyone who’s been hit by a car or injured in some way while walking or bicycling near a road can claim personal injury compensation. If they were following the established road rules, the driver would be held responsible for your injuries.
SLIP AND FALLS
This is the most common type of personal injury claim, which is why anyone renting out or owning property must take preventative steps to ensure safety. The legal obligations on this matter vary based on the premise. However, depending on the situation and if negligence on the property owner can be confirmed, slip and fall claims can lead to compensation.
DOG BITES AND ANIMAL ATTACKS
When an animal causes an injury, a claim can be made in the right circumstances. The owner of the animal (often a dog) is responsible to help pay for any harm their animal may have caused. Negligence rules still apply, though, if the injury happened as the result of ignoring posted signs that warn of potentially dangerous animals.
This is more common among electrical products and heavy machinery, but even if a chair were to break due to faulty construction, a personal injury claim could be made.
If a doctor doesn’t provide reasonable care to patients, resulting injuries can be blamed on the medical professional. These situations are more complex than others and working with a personal injury lawyer with medical experience is recommended.
HOW TO FILE A PERSONAL INJURY CLAIM
Every claim for personal injury will be different. There are a few basic steps that need to be taken if you’re seeking monetary compensation for your claim.
STEP 1. COLLECT EVIDENCE
This includes getting insurance and contact information from the other party involved, taking pictures of the accident, and filing a police report. Without proper documentation, it will be difficult to receive benefits for your claim.
STEP 2. WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN
Once you have evidence gathered from the scene of the incident, write down your exact recollection of what happened. Make sure to include even the smallest details to help you in your claim.
STEP 3. CONTACT INSURANCE COMPANIES
Contact both yours and the defendant’s insurance company to see if your injury will be covered under any type of insurance. Auto insurance might cover medical injuries in the result of a car accident, while property liability insurance can cover your bills if the accident happened on someone else’s property.
STEP 4. CONTACT AN ATTORNEY
As you might expect, there’s a lot of information and paperwork involved in a personal injury case. Rest assured, however, that a personal injury claim lawyer will be your ticket to a swift and easy process. A lawyer can help if you decide to file a lawsuit and will represent you or settle your claim outside of court.
WHAT IS CONSIDERED A PERSONAL INJURY CASE?
A personal injury case can be measured when a person is harmed or injured because of the negligence or intentional harm from another person. If you’ve suffered from any of the following, you could be eligible to receive monetary compensation from your claim of personal injury:
- Heavy medical bills from your resulting injury
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Scarring, disfigurement, or disability
- Emotional distress
- Decreased enjoyment of life
DOCUMENTS NEEDED FOR YOUR PERSONAL INJURY CLAIM
Documents are an important part of your personal injury case. Without them, it will be difficult to get proper compensation for your injuries. Here are several documents you’ll need to make sure you have all the necessary evidence to help with your claim:
- Police reports
- Witness statements
- Personal statements
- Copies of insurance
- Medical bills & reports
- Videos and photos of the injury and incident scene
- Proof of lost wages (W2 forms, work schedules, etc.)
- Expense sheet (car rentals, hotel stays, court expenses, etc.)
WHAT IS THE AVERAGE SETTLEMENT FOR A PERSONAL INJURY CLAIM?
An average settlement for this type of claim will depend on the extent of the injury and other stipulations, such as lost wages and medical bills. Less extreme cases are generally settled outside of court (i.e., an informal settlement) and take four to six weeks to receive compensation. If you choose to file a personal injury lawsuit, compensation can take months or even years.
In terms of average compensation for these claims, a revenue report estimates an average of $24,000 per case was granted. However, most of these cases were born from auto accidents, so it’s difficult to determine a blanket price due to the versatility of these claims.
HOW MUCH SHOULD I ASK FOR PAIN AND SUFFERING FROM A CAR ACCIDENT?
Pain and suffering are tough concepts to measure, but a personal injury claim lawyer can more accurately describe your options. Some online calculators can give you an idea of how much to ask for, though these typically undervalue your compensation. Two other ways to determine a final price for pain and suffering are:
Many lawyers have been trained to multiply the combination of medical bills and lost wages by three to determine a pain and suffering cost. For example, if your medical bills are $10,000 and your lost wages are $2,000, then they would multiple $12,000 by three for a suggested ask of $36,000.
A per dime rate is sometimes calculated by insurers and lawyers to determine pain and suffering. Your daily rate must be measured and proven based off medical bills and lost wages. First, determine how much you typically earn per day and then show this to the courts or insurance companies.
Let’s say that over the course of two months, you were unable to work. If you determine that you earned $100 per day and didn’t work for two months, then you’ve lost $6,000 in wages. Over those two months (60 days), you also accrued a total of $5,000 in medical bills. In total, you’re out $11,000. This amount can be divided by two months (60 days) to determine your daily rate. In this case, the daily rate would be about $183 (11,000 divided by 60 days).
HOW DO INSURANCE COMPANIES SETTLE PERSONAL INJURY CLAIMS?
This legal dispute can be resolved through a formal lawsuit or an informal settlement.
A formal lawsuit takes place when you, the plaintiff, files a complaint in civil court against another person, business, or government agency. These disputes are resolved in court alongside your attorney who will help you file a lawsuit and prove the defendant’s careless or irresponsible actions resulted in your injury.
An informal settlement is typically how a personal injury claim is resolved, where parties on both sides reach an informal settlement. This usually happens through negotiations until a monetary settlement is agreed to by both parties. Settlements forgo further court action after the paperwork has been written and signed.
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS FOR PERSONAL INJURY CLAIMS
In the state of Florida, you have four years to file a lawsuit for a personal injury claim. This is a strict deadline set by Florida’s statute of limitations for the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit in civil court. If you don’t file your case within this window of time, the court likely won’t hear your case unless the discovery of your injuries did not appear within the time window.
HAVE YOU BEEN HURT OR INJURED IN FLORIDA?
If you need to file a personal injury claim, contact our lawyers at K LAW, PLLC. We believe in getting to know your need with a more “hands-on” approach than the more prominent firms, thus receiving better results.
As your personal injury attorney, we’ll fight to ensure you’re adequately compensated for your pain and suffering, and any other difficulties that arise because of the accident. As a client of ours, you will always be able to speak with an attorney and have direct access to your case.
Contact K. Law, PLLC today for a free consultation.