What are the Steps to Filing a Personal Injury Claim?

March 1, 2015

After you receive an injury in an accident that was caused by the negligence of another, you might be wondering what to do and who you should talk to about your injuries. Let’s take a look at the steps you would follow in order to file a personal injury claim. Although you could file a claim for many different kinds of accidents, for purposes of illustration we will use the example of a car accident.

An injury claim is a request for compensation from the insurance company for the at-fault party or your insurance company for your bodily injuries and damage to your vehicle.

Gather the evidence

At this point you will collect any evidence you have of the accident, such as:

  • Any photos that you or anyone else took at the scene
  • The police report
  • If you don’t have a police report, the date, time and location of the accident
  • Your insurance policy information
  • Contact information for witnesses
  • Driver’s license and license plate numbers for all vehicles involved
  • The names of other people involved in the accident and their contact information
  • Medical bills

If you took any notes about what happened while the events were fresh in your mind, those notes will also be helpful. You insurance company might require you to give a statement explaining your account of the accident.

Contact the insurance company

Contact the insurance company about the accident and your case will be assigned to a claims adjuster who will evaluate your claim, inspect your car and examine the evidence. If your claim is successful, the claims adjuster will propose a settlement amount. You then negotiate with the insurance company until both parties agree upon a settlement.

At what point do I need to hire an attorney for my personal injury claim?

If your bodily injuries are significant, you might consider hiring a personal injury attorney at the beginning of the injury claims process. Given the fact that you most likely have no idea what your claim is worth, you might not be the best person to negotiate a settlement with an insurance company. How do you know if they are being fair with you? How do you know if you are leaving money on the table? It does not cost you a thing to schedule a consultation with a personal injury attorney who will review your case and advise you on your legal options.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, contact Kardos, Rickles, Hand & Bidlingmaier to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.