- November 14, 2014
- Category: Latest
Each year, thousands of U.S. citizens file personal injury claims for accidents they were involved in. These include car, bus, train and plane accidents. And out of all of these cases, barely five percent actually make it before a judge. That’s because the system is set up in such a way that it is more advantageous for the defendant to settle. Long, drawn out trials are expensive, and neither people nor companies have much inclination in seeing them through. In this reality, accident victims need to gauge how much their case might be worth. And while there’s no exact method of determining this, there are some helpful tools that can provide a ballpark estimate, such as this online calculator.
And once this is determined, then it’s time to file the personal injury suit. Here are three things anyone must do in order to accomplish this.
Assess the Cost
The first thing a victim of an accident needs to do is determine how much the insurance company in question will cover. For example, if the driver who caused an auto accident did so without insurance, then it makes little sense to file a claim, since the plaintiff likely won’t see dime one. Those involved in slip-and-fall cases, on the other hand, will want to ensure that the owner of the location has liability coverage.
Visit an Attorney
Accident victims should take advantage of as many free initial consultations as possible. This gives a person the opportunity to sample a wide variety of attorneys by asking tough questions. Experts recommend consulting no fewer than three different lawyers before making a decision. The victim will want to gauge the experience level of the attorney, what specific kind of law they specialize in, how much time they have to devote to the case, and what their contingency fee is. Almost all attorneys of this nature operate on a contingency fee, meaning they take a percentage of any monetary sum awarded. The typical fee is between 20% and 40% but those with particularly strong cases can negotiate lower contingency fees.
Aim to Settle
The truth is that both parties in any personal injury case often want to settle before the case goes to trial. It saves everyone a headache. The entire process should begin with the insurance companies. After an accident, the victim should always trade insurance info—provided the other party has insurance. Then he or she can begin the process of filing a third-party claim against the insurance company. A quality attorney can help see this process through and secure a monetary settlement before the case goes to trial. First, what will happen is the attorney sends a notice of the claim having been filed to the insurance company. They will also send basic information along as well, such as the time, location and date of the accident, as well as the parties involved. More specific information will be traded later in the process, and especially during settlement negotiations.
By following these three steps, anyone should be able to secure an attorney and file a solid personal injury lawsuit.
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