If you have suffered an injury due to another person’s negligence, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Consulting with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after your injury helps ensure you receive full and fair compensation. Ideally, you should contact a personal injury attorney immediately after sustaining an injury. Your attorney then helps advise you on steps to take to protect your right to compensation.
- Documenting the scene – Preferably, take pictures of the hazardous conditions that caused the injury, such as a wet floor, uneven sidewalk, etc. Identify witnesses and write down their contact information.
- Seeking medical care – Even if an injury seems minor at first, it is important to have the extent of the injury professionally evaluated and documented. Gaps in treatment negatively impact a claim.
- Preserving evidence – Clothing, equipment, or other items related to the injury should be saved in their original condition. An attorney can arrange to have items professionally examined and preserved if necessary.
- Reporting the incident – Specific notice, reporting, and claims filing deadlines apply to certain types of injury claims. An attorney can ensure proper reporting is done.
Upon consulting an attorney, you receive guidance on these initial steps critical to proving and valuing your injury claim.
After the initial recovery period
As your medical treatment progresses, your injury attorney continues assessing the value of your claim. He or she obtains your medical records and bills to demonstrate the extent of treatment. The attorney also hires experts to evaluate your prognosis and long-term care needs if appropriate. If you are losing wages because of your injury, your attorney calculates these past and future wage losses. Other damage elements your attorney evaluates include damage to your property, cost of household and caretaker assistance, medical equipment, and any permanent impairment or loss of enjoyment of life due to scarring or disabilities.
Your attorney will also investigate liability by identifying all parties that may share responsibility and determining the facts surrounding the incident. Interviews will occur with witnesses and relevant records and documents obtained. Armed with detailed information on your losses and liability facts, your attorney then sends a demand letter to the appropriate insurance carrier(s). This letter will request compensation for your economic and non-economic damages. For larger claims, your attorney may recommend filing a personal injury cases in Cleveland if you cannot settle through negotiations.
Before settlement is reached
As settlement discussions progress, it remains important for your attorney to continue gathering updated medical records and evaluating any new treatment developments. Your condition changes over time, increasing the value of your claim. You may also remember additional details or losses from the incident not previously considered. Your attorney factors in these supplemental losses and facts as appropriate. Receiving fair compensation depends on fully documenting and proving all claims related to the injury. A Cleveland Personal Injury Attorney also advises you on available insurance coverage, your rights and responsibilities if a lawsuit is filed, and whether the settlement offer reasonably covers all your proven damages. A qualified attorney then guides you through each stage of documenting losses, proving liability, negotiating settlement, and managing proceeds.