From Start to Finish: Learn the Basics of Personal Injury Claims and How They Work
When a person has been involved in an accident in which someone else was at fault, they often wonder if they have legal rights. They may wonder how to hold the at-fault party responsible for their damages. The answer is to file a personal injury lawsuit. This term can make people nervous because they do not know what to expect with this process. Keep reading for the basics of what to expect and then contact Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 909-982-0707 for a free legal consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney.
Understanding a Personal Injury Claim
Before we move on to the specifics of the process, let us consider what a personal injury claim is. It is a formal process during which a plaintiff (the one who was injured) seeks financial compensation for the damages they suffered from the defendant (the at-fault party) and their negligence. The case can involve both economic (medical bills, lost wages, etc.) and noneconomic (pain and suffering) damages.
More than 95% of all personal injury cases are settled before they get to court. It is important to note as well that most attorneys take cases on a contingency basis, which means that the plaintiff will not have to pay their legal fees until the attorney has secured compensation for them. If the attorney is not successful, then no legal fees will be required.
The Main Steps in a California Personal Injury Case
There are some things that will be different about your case than another person’s case. For example, we would not handle a drowning accident the same way we handle a bike accident. That said, there are many things that we will handle identically. They include the main steps involved in most personal injury cases:
- Sending a demand letter. We begin by sending a demand letter to the law firm or insurance company of the at-fault party. In this letter, we will include the facts of why we believe the party is at fault, information on the injuries, and facts about the medical treatment cost, lost income, and other damages.
- File a complaint. In the event a fair settlement cannot be negotiated between your attorney and the attorney of the at-fault party, we will file an official complaint with the courts. The defendant’s counsel has 30 days to respond.
- Go to court. As mentioned above, the vast majority of cases do not get to this point. If negotiations have not worked, then we will take the case to trial.
Of course, these are just the main steps. Your attorney will take care of many other things like filing paperwork, leading discovery, interviewing witnesses, and negotiating with other parties involved. If you are ready to find out how an attorney can help with your particular accident and injury, contact Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 909-982-0707 for a free legal consultation.