Legal Review: How Can I Collect Damages on My Personal Injury Claim?

The days, months, and years after an accident can become very difficult for victims of serious crashes who often have to  miss work for an extended period of time resulting in a lack of income.

With or without a source of income, you still have to meet your monthly obligations, such as utility bills, mortgage, and household supplies which can create an extremely stressful situation.

Understanding methods to recover your damages can offer some hope.

Get Medical Attention

Unfortunately, the claims process is not always smooth, especially when it involves massive payouts. Preparing your claim should begin at the accident scene if you hope to maximize your compensation.

After an injury, the most important thing to do is call emergency services. Once they get to the scene, ensure that you are medically examined to establish the extent of your injuries. If the first responders suggest that you go to the ER, you must do as required.

Document the Scene

Emergency services often get to an accident scene a few minutes after a crash. Before they arrive, you can document the scene by taking pictures and video footage which can serve as evidence in court. If your injuries are too severe, you can ask an onlooker to help you. You may also need to collect witness testimonies and contact information.

Involving an injury lawyer immediately after you get into an accident can make a big difference in the outcome of your claim. Besides helping you build a solid case, your legal counsel will coach you on how to avoid hurting your case.

While it is possible to navigate an injury claim alone in a state like South Carolina, it is not advisable. Even after considering the legal fees, you stand a higher chance of recovering fair compensation with a Columbia personal injury lawyer than without one. The best part is you do not pay them until they win your case and you recover your damages. If they lose, you owe them nothing.

The Claims Process

After a lawyer takes your case, they will first gather evidence and notify the at-fault party of your intention to file a claim.

The next step is filing the case, followed by the discovery phase. In this stage, your legal team and that of the at-fault party will exchange every piece of evidence they have. This is the stage where the strength or weakness of a case becomes evident.

The negotiations stage often follows the discovery phase. In this phase, your legal counsel and the opposing side’s legal team will try to reach an agreement. Successful negotiations require giving and taking. If the teams reach a consensus, the court may appoint an independent mediator to help iron contentious issues out and arrange how the at-fault will settle the damages.

If there is no consensus, the case goes to trial, where a jury will give a verdict and make a ruling on how much the at-fault party should pay.

Recoverable Damages

A fair settlement should cover all economic damages resulting from your accident, including medical bills, cost of prescription medicine, lost wages, cost of living aids, and any financial cost resulting from the accident.

It should also cover non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, disfigurement, disability, and loss of life’s enjoyment. Sometimes the court may award punitive damages if your injuries resulted from another person’s wrongful actions or gross negligence.