All personal injury claims go through the same general progression. For a Plaintiff going through the personal injury claims process, it’s good to look at the process like walking up a set of stairs. The ground floor is where you are hurt, the first step Is the investigation stage where you compile important information, the second step is the medical treatment and recover stage, the third step is the document gathering and demand stage, the fourth step is claim negotiation stage, and the fifth step can either be the settlement or litigation state. Some injured people move through this process in a fairly fast manner, while others spend a lot of time receiving medical treatment. A Washington Personal Injury Attorney can guide you through this process and help maximize your recovery.
People can be seriously injured when their vehicle sustains minor visible property damage, and other people manage to walk away unscathed when their vehicles are totaled. The important thing is to make sure you seek immediate medical attention if you are injured. Seeking immediate medical attention has two main benefits. First, you are able to have your injuries evaluated by a medical provider who can place you on a recovery program. Second, it documents your injuries, so the at-fault party’s insurance company cannot come back a year later and say that you waited too long to seek treatment, so you much not have been injured in the crash. Insurance companies do make this argument, so get prompt medical attention and protect yourself.
The first step in the process is the investigation. It is important that you obtain and maintain crucial evidence for your case. Some of the pieces of information you will need to pursue your claim include:
When you hire the personal injury attorneys at Johnson Law, P.C. our first task will be to walk through the information you already have and work to gather any other evidence that might be helpful in your case. We will collect police reports and all of your claim-related medical records and medical bills.
The second step involves medical treatment and your recovery. It is important to go through all the medical treatment that is being recommended by your medical providers. This is your best path to a full recovery, and if you don’t go through with all the recommended treatment, the at-fault insurance company may argue that you did not mitigate your damages. This can include talking with an orthopedic surgeon to discuss your options even if you have no current desire to undergo surgery. The personal injury attorneys at Johnson Law, P.C. will guide you through the medical treatment phase and discuss how the different types of recommended treatment may or may not impact your claim. Moreover, we will create a buffer between you and both your insurance company and the at-fault party’s insurance company, so that you can focus on the important stuff—your recovery.
Once you are done receiving medical treatment for your injuries, all of your medical records and medical bills must be obtained from your various medical providers. Medical providers generally take anywhere from one week to one month to produce medical records. This is okay because it gives you a little time to see if any of your symptoms reemerge while you go about your normal daily activities.
Next is the Demand Stage. Once all of your medical records have been obtained and reviewed, you and your attorney have to determine how much money to demand. At Johnson Law, we know that each person is unique, so we spend the time to make sure our clients understand the entire demand process, including how much is being demanded, how we make the demand, and how long it takes to get a response.
Approximately 30 days after the demand packet is sent, the at-fault insurance company makes their first offer. At Johnson Law, P.C. we discuss the initial offer and talk about your options. We’ve settled and litigated many personal injury claims, so we are able to offer you our advised based on that information. Ultimately, the response that is made to the at-fault insurance company is your choice.
If the negotiations produce an amount that is favorable, then your case can be settled through the signing of a release. Settlement is right for some people, while litigation is right for others. There are multiple steps involved in the litigation process that are described elsewhere on this website.
If you were injured in a motor vehicle collision, speak with a personal injury attorney at Johnson Law, P.C. to discuss your options. We are prepared to fight for you.