What Is the Process for a Personal Injury Case?
An accident can lead to any number of damages and if you are placed in this situation, it is important that you know what you are in for from the beginning. It is also best that you speak with a Long Island personal injury attorney from the start of the case so that you can begin on the right foot. Accidents happen every day and they unfortunately can lead to many areas of your life being influenced. The coming process can entail a number of different aspects that will depend on the amount of damage that was sustained, if there is a party that is liable and the amount of compensation that is being sought, amongst other influencing factors.
The Healing Process
The most important thing in any accident is that you first take care of your health. It is best to have your injuries looked at by a professional, even if they seem minor. Sometimes there may be underlying issues. The full extent of injuries is not always fully recognized either and in the hours and days after an accident, some people begin to realize that their injuries are more extensive than they may have initially expected. Seek medical attention and make sure that any health concerns are addressed. This is also valuable in the event that you decide to go through with a case, as having a medical assessment can serve as evidence. After this has been done, your next call should be to a skilled attorney to establish if there is a case and to get started handling it.
Should I Speak to the Insurance Company?
After the accident, you want to gather the information of the other party, as well as the police report. Their insurance information should also be acquired and it is likely that before long, you will be receiving a call from their provider. Insurance companies are generally looking out for their own interest and the last thing that they want to do is pay you a high amount of money. They want to get information that will lower their responsibility or rid them of it altogether. They may try to get you to give a statement or sign documents. Don’t give them anything to go off of yet. First, speak with an attorney that can advise you on how to go about dealing with them.
Investigating the Case
Personal injury cases are not always as straight forward as some cases so it is best to have the details of yours reviewed by a professional before determining how to move forward. Not every accident is a result of negligence and there may not be someone that is liable for compensation. Our firm can help you establish this from the beginning, through a free case evaluation. We can also determine if a claim or lawsuit is necessary. The investigation period is important to gather together any evidence that can work to your advantage. This can include investigating the scene of an accident or using a reconstruction expert to go through what happened. Witness accounts are important and anyone that was present for the incident should be talked to when looking for information. Medical records are critical and they can often make or break a case. Sometimes a medical professional can be called on to give their account and validate the injuries. There are a number of ways that evidence can be gathered and this will be necessary to meet the burden of proof.
What Is Discovery?
In an injury claim, the process of discovery will need to take place. With both sides looking for information to strengthen their stance, discovery allows for greater transparency. The other side might have information that you need and this will be acquired during this point. Both sides are able to state the evidence that they want and the other side can provide it to them. If for some reason you or the other party determine that the evidence will not be given over, the issue can go to a judge to review and he or she may allow for the evidence to be withheld, or may demand that it is provided to the other side.
What Is the Statute of Limitations in Long Island?
Generally, the term statute of limitations refers to limiting the amount of time that a person has to take legal action against the other party for their injuries. This prevents people from waiting too long to hold a party accountable and coming back years later to seek compensation. The exact details of it vary from state to state. They can also vary depending on the type of case. For medical malpractice, action must be taken within 30 months from the time of the act that led to the injuries. For personal injury and product liability cases, action must be taken within three years. In the event of a wrongful death, loved ones have two years from the day of the death to file. It is important to know what the statute of limitations is. Some victims or families of victims are so busy grieving or trying to deal with the effects of their injury that they miss their window of opportunity. It is understandable that since an injury can consume many areas of your life, but by working with a professional, you can have someone taking action on your behalf.
How Is Liability determined?
Liability will be dependent on the case and the role of the person being held responsible. The liability of a doctor can differ from the liability of a civilian. It will need to be shown that the party was negligent in some way. If they were a professional, this will include determining their duties and their responsibilities, then showing how their actions stepped outside of this realm. The plaintiff in a personal injury case is responsible for the burden of proof. This is the obligation to convince a judge or jury. There are three main aspects in these issues. The first is to show that there was a responsibility to provide reasonable care. This does not only have to be a professional, it can be a driver that should have been operating their vehicle safely. The second aspect involves showing that the responsibility or duty was breached. Lastly, the breaching of the duty was directly responsible for the injuries that were suffered.
How Much Is My Personal Injury Claim Worth?
Compensation may be sought for a number of areas. One of the main things that many look to receive financial reimbursement is for the cost of medical expenses. This can include the initial hospital visit or any other necessary ones after. Some injuries can require ongoing treatment or adaptations to help accommodate. Compensation can also be sought for current and future lost wages when injuries are enough to put you out of your job. If you need to retrain to go into another field, this cost can be sought in a case as well. Any additional pain and suffering can be assessed to determine if they warrant damages.