If you have been injured, you’re probably in the middle of dealing with numerous doctor visits and mounting medical bills. And, if the incident that caused your injuries was someone else’s fault, you may have a lot of questions. Some of the questions we’re commonly asked include:
- How do I file my personal injury claim?
- Does filing a claim mean I have sued someone?
- Will I have to go to court?
- Can I file my personal injury claim without a lawyer?
We hope this post helps answer some of those questions. If you have other questions or would like additional information, you can always reach out to us for a free personal injury consultation.
What does it mean to file a personal injury claim?
Filing a personal injury claim for your injuries typically involves several steps. First, you will need to identify who is at-fault for the incident. Second, you will need to determine whether or not they have insurance coverage. If an accident or incident report was created, all of this information may be on there. Third, the insurance company will need to be notified about the incident so they can open your claim in their system. They will likely ask you for your contact information as well as details about the incident and your injuries. This is one of the many times when a personal injury attorney can be helpful. An experienced personal injury attorney can handle this step for you to make sure you don’t say anything that could compromise your claim or the value of your claim.
Does filing a claim mean I have sued someone?
No, filing a claim is not the same thing as filing a lawsuit or suing someone. A claim is typically filed first, before a lawsuit is filed. Many times, claims can be negotiated and settled before a lawsuit even has to be filed. Filing a lawsuit and going through the litigation process can take a while, and it can be very expensive. Because of this, many people prefer to try and settle their claim first. If that is not successful, a lawsuit may be their only option at that point. If you are thinking about hiring an attorney to help with your personal injury claim, hiring an attorney who has experience with both filing claims and filing lawsuits can be helpful because they will have an understanding of the entire process. That way, if a lawsuit does have to be filed, you will already have an experienced attorney on your side who knows how to successfully litigate a personal injury claim so you have the best chance at recovering for your injuries and other damages.
Will I have to go to court?
Most cases settle before they go to court or trial. Even if you have to file a lawsuit because you were not able to negotiate and settle your claim beforehand, your case could still settle before you have to go to court. That said, there are times when going to court is necessary. For example, your claim may be worth much more than the at-fault party or their insurance company has offered you. A personal injury attorney who has experience filing lawsuits and taking cases to court will be able to answer your questions about this process.
Can I file my personal injury claim without a lawyer?
Technically, yes, you can. You would just go through the claims process we briefly outlined earlier. That said, there are a lot of nuances in the claims process. Every case is different, so you will want to understand how the claims process works with a case like yours, what rights and options are available to you, how an insurance company is likely to value your claim, and when and how you might be reimbursed for your injuries and damages. Also, if you do end up needing to file a lawsuit, you will need to become familiar with the North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure, best litigation practices, how to write a Complaint and other legal documents, procedures for appearing in court, and more. This might sound like a lot, but an experienced personal injury attorney will know how to handle all of this for you. At Burton Law Firm, you don’t even have to pay us up front. We work on what’s known as a contingency fee basis, so you do not owe us an attorney fee until we win your case. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer at Burton Law Firm, give us a call at (833) 623-0042.