Serious injuries often represent a hectic and confusing time in the injured person’s life. You may be in pain, have bills piling up, and want to move forward. Naturally, you may ask, “How long does an insurance claim take?” The answer can vary depending on the facts of your claim, your injuries and required treatment, and the strength of your legal representation. Below are the general steps involved in recovering compensation and what a client can expect during the personal injury claim process.
Retaining an attorney
Insurance companies typically will try to offer a low settlement amount before you even know the extent of your injuries and treatment needed. They do this to minimize their legal and financial expenses, protecting their own bottom line over providing fair compensation. Most of the time, you will need expert help to get the personal injury settlements you deserve. Look for a firm that specializes in personal injury, has strong case results, and an established history in your local area. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you make a strong case from the very beginning. They will guide you on how to handle the insurance companies, what not to share on social media, and other direction to ensure you get fully and fairly compensated.
Filing a claim
Soon after getting injured in a car accident, bitten by a dog, or injured in an incident caused by a careless person, you may wonder, “How long after an accident can you file a claim?” Generally, the answer is the sooner, the better. This is because, as a general rule, the longer you wait, the more challenging it may be to secure witnesses, remember facts, and prove injury and related medical treatment are from the accident. For this reason, every state has a statute of limitations to ensure legal actions are dealt with promptly. In Virginia, you have a two (2) year window from the time of injury to file a personal injury claim against a negligent party. When you hire a personal injury lawyer, they will file the claim with the insurance company on your behalf as soon as possible.
Once you are done treating for your injuries, your attorney will submit a demand package to the insurance company that details your damages and the amount of compensation being requested. Typically, your lawyer will go back and forth with the insurance adjuster to negotiate the best offer, keeping you updated along the way. They will provide advice if the settlement offer is a good one or if your case is worth more. If an amount can be agreed upon during this step, your personal injury lawyer will finalize your claim with the insurance company.
Filing a Lawsuit
If a settlement cannot be reached between the client and the defendant’s insurance company during the initial claim, your attorney will file a personal injury lawsuit. Many times, just the act of filing a lawsuit will aid in getting the insurance company to make a better settlement offer.
During the discovery stage, both sides will use legal tools like interrogations (asking questions) and depositions (recording statements) to establish the facts of the case. Your lawyer can help limit the things the other side can ask about and make sure that your rights are protected while they build your case. After this step, your attorney will have a good idea of the strengths and weaknesses of your case so that you and your legal team can make final preparations for the courtroom. It is still possible at the discovery stage for the insurance company to come back with another settlement offer to try to avoid additional legal expenses.
If you do go to trial, you will want to have a well-established firm that knows the courts, the judges, and a high-level of trail experience with personal injury cases so they can advocate on your behalf. While no trial results can be guaranteed, you will put yourself in the best position possible by hiring a firm that routinely appears in court and argues cases from start to finish.
If you’re facing the aftermath of a serious injury and need strong legal representation, contact Huffman & Huffman Brothers-in-Law today. Our experienced team will fight for the compensation you deserve, guiding you through the process with care and expertise. Don’t wait; take the first step toward a better future following your accident. Case evaluations and advice are always free, and you don’t pay us until we win your case! Let our family help your family.
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