The Timeline Of Your Personal Injury Settlement
Whether you’ve been in a motorcycle accident, a car accident, or a slip and fall in the state of Florida, the timeline of your personal injury settlement is going to be either the same or similar. The process can seem overwhelming, but it’s worthwhile when you finally have a settlement that covers the expenses incurred due to your accident and subsequent injuries. With the help of a St. Petersburg personal injury attorney, the timeline goes more smoothly, and you provide yourself with your best chance of a successful outcome.
The timeline of your personal injury settlement is as follows:
• Your accident occurs – The first step in your settlement timeline is your accident, and it all begins when your accident and injuries occur. While this is the most stressful part of the experience, it’s important to keep your wits about you if at all possible. This means that, unless your injuries are too severe, collecting evidence and preparing for your settlement from the start.
• Seeking medical attention – Even if you believe all you have is a mild case of whiplash, it’s important to always seek medical attention. After an accident, adrenaline is likely to be coursing through your veins, dulling any pain and masking soft tissue or other initially invisible injuries. If you wake up the next day feeling like you may have broken a finger or sprained your wrist, that wait time may have cost you some of your settlement for recouping after those injuries. Essentially, you may not be able to prove those injuries were incurred from the accident if you wait to seek medical attention, and your claim may be rightfully denied by an insurance provider. Always seek a full medical exam as soon as possible.
• Hire a personal injury attorney – For St. Petersburg residents who have been in an accident of any kind, the following step after seeking medical attention should be seeking the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney. According to a study by the Insurance Research Council, injured parties who seek the assistance of a personal injury attorney receive settlements 3.5 times larger than those who do not. While some may think that it may be a bit early in the timeline for consulting an attorney, it’s important to remember it’s the earlier the better. Your attorney will not just walk you through your settlement process, but your evidence collection as well.
• Investigation and records – With your attorney at your side, you’ll begin investigating your claim and getting your medical records together in order to build your claim case. Insurance companies look after their bottom line first, and this means they’re like to attempt low-balling settlement offers rather than providing fair compensation quickly. Investigation and compiling your medical records will provide you with a solid and irrefutable claim case.
• Filing your claim – In the state of Florida, those who have been in a car or motorcycle accident will be filing a claim with their own insurance company. With the help of your personal injury attorney, you’ll then file your insurance claim including all of the information compiled in the investigation process. If you’ve been in a slip and fall accident, you may be filing a claim with the insurance provider of a negligent property owner or demanding a settlement from the property owner themselves.
• Negotiations – After your claim is filed, it’s then time for negotiations. This process can be relatively quick, in some lucky instances, and in others drawn out over the course of months. After expressing your desired settlement amount, insurance providers will come back with a much lower number, and this back and forth occurs until both parties settle on a satisfactory settlement amount.