What are the Phases of a Personal Injury Claim?
Personal Injury Claims: Potential Resolution Before a Lawsuit is Filed
When a person has been injured in an accident he or she has a potential personal injury claim, which is the process by which an injured party seeks compensation for injuries and damages from the responsible party and/or insurance company. Often times, personal injury claims can be resolved without resort to filing a lawsuit or taking court action. Presentation of a well-supported and documented personal injury claim will increase an injured party’s chances at reaching a fair settlement without the need for more serious legal action.
The Rudman Law Firm, APC devotes its entire practice to handing personal injury cases. Our attorneys have spent their entire careers of more than 60 years combined legal experience advocating on behalf of residents of Los Angeles, and its surrounding areas, for full and fair compensation in their injury and death of a loved one claims. We handle all cases on a contingency basis, which means our clients do not have to pay attorneys’ fees unless and until we recover money on their behalf.
Commencing a Personal Injury Claim
Once our firm has had our first meeting with a new client, we begin the claims process by:
- Notifying the Involved Parties and Insurance Companiesof our representation. We call and/or send letters in order to report the accident and claim, inform those involved that you are represented in the matter by an attorney and that all further communications should be directed to our law firm, and not to you.
- Investigating and Gathering Evidenceto support your claim. This may include: inspection and photographing of the accident scene, and any items involved in the accident; obtaining and storing physical evidence; interviewing witnesses and obtaining statements; requesting copies of investigative reports; conducting background research pertaining to the potential responsible parties and insurance; and collecting past claims information.
- Helping you Resolve Property Damage Claims.In car accident cases, we help to expedite the process of getting your vehicle fixed and obtaining a rental car, or collecting money for the reasonable value of your vehicle if it has been deemed a “total loss”.
- Obtaining Copies of Your Medical Records and Billing Statements.Once you have completed treatment with a medical provider, our office will submit requests for copies of your medical and billing records to include in our letter to the responsible party or insurance company, demanding compensation for your injuries and damages.
- Obtaining Documentation of Your Loss of Earnings.We will request payroll information from your employer, or in cases of self-employment, work with you to gather necessary earnings records to substantiate any claim for loss of earnings or income.
Submitting a Demand to the Insurance Company for Potential Settlement
We do not attempt to resolve your personal injury claim until we can adequately evaluate your losses and damages. This generally means a demand for compensation is not submitted to the insurance company, and settlement negotiations do not commence, until you have completed your medical treatment, or are far enough along in your medical treatment, that there is sufficient reasonable certainty regarding your future medical condition and need for future medical care. Once a settlement amount is agreed upon between an injured party and an insurance company, the injured party will be required to sign a “Release of All Claims” which prevents the injured party from seeking further compensation after the settlement is reached, even if he or she becomes aware of additional injuries, further complications, or further need for medical care. Therefore, it is wise to wait until there is an understanding about the extent of your injuries and medical expenses before attempting to settle your claim.
At the appropriate time, we submit a package containing documentation which substantiates your claims to the insurance company, demanding that it pay you compensation. Settlement negotiations usually commence thereafter. Your attorney will communicate and discuss all offers with you and make recommendations, but the decision to settle, and for what amount, is entirely yours.
If a Settlement Cannot Be Reached, a Lawsuit Can Be Filed
If the case is not able to be settled for an acceptable amount, a lawsuit can be filed in court, which begins “litigation”, the process of taking legal action. Click here for an explanation of what to expect once a lawsuit is filed.
Skilled Attorneys at The Rudman Law Firm, APC Can Handle Your Personal Injury Claim
The Rudman Law Firm, APC, is skilled in handling every aspect of a personal injury claim. Call for your free phone consultation today with our Los Angeles office (213) 375-3777, Studio City office (818) 769-6969, or toll free at (844) 478-3626 / (844) 4RUDMAN.