If you have been injured in an accident that was someone else's fault, whether it be due to a car accident, construction accident, defective product, or another form of accident, you may be considering a personal injury claim to recover compensation for your injuries. If this is your first experience with such a claim, you may be wondering what the process is like and what it entails.
A Typical Personal Injury Claim
- Seek medical attention: If you have been injured, the most important step is to seek medical attention immediately to treat your injuries. Everything else can wait until after you have been treated by a medical professional. Even if you think you just a little banged up, if you are involved in a serious accident, it is best to seek medical attention anyway. Injuries can present days or even weeks after your accident. The most important aspect in all of this, and something no amount of money can fix, is your health.
- Hire an experienced personal injury attorney: Following an accident, you will need to speak with an attorney as soon as possible in order to get the ball rolling for a personal injury lawsuit or settlement. Time is not unlimited to file a claim. Time limits called "statute of limitations" govern how long you have to properly file and serve a personal injury lawsuit after your accident.
- Investigating your accident: After being retained, your attorney will dive into your case and investigate how the accident occurred, who was at fault, and other relevant factors.
- Demanding a settlement: Far more cases are resolved outside of court than in a trial. You and your attorney will come up with a fair settlement demand based on the severity of your injuries and the degree of fault of the other party. If a settlement is not reached, your attorney will help you file a personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation for your injuries.
- Filing a lawsuit: The appropriate paperwork will be filed to get your case heard, including a Complaint.
- Discovery: During this stage, the parties can ask each other for relevant documents and answers to questions that might impact the case. This can be an extremely lengthy and complicated process.
- Mediation or arbitration: Oftentimes, settlement attempts will occur before going to trial. If the case is not settled at mediation your case will either go to trial or an arbitration (an informal trial-like proceeding heard and decided by a neutral attorney or retired judge).
- Trial: If your case goes to trial, which can last for as little as a day or up to many weeks, a jury will consider each party's evidence and decide what is appropriate compensation for the damages you suffered.
Injured in an Accident? We Can Help
If you have been hurt in an accident in Washington or Oregon, you deserve competent representation from a team of personal injury attorneys who will stand by your side from start to finish. Schauermann Thayer's personal injury attorneys have decades of combined experience representing clients in their quest to feel as though they're being treated fairly.
Don't try to fight a personal injury case alone--these cases can become overwhelming very quickly, and even the slightest misstep can jeopardize your chances at a successful outcome. To schedule a consultation to speak with speak with an attorney about your accident, fill out an online contact form or call (360) 694-4244 today.