Most personal injury cases arise from automobile accidents and medical malpractice. In the case of automobile accidents, if a driver fails to exercise reasonable care while they are driving and they hit another vehicle or person, they are negligent and the victim can make a personal injury claim against them. In the case of medical malpractice, the doctor or other healthcare provider must have a relationship of trust with the patient and not exercise the standard or practice that is expected from someone with their skill and experience.
The first thing to do to begin a personal injury claim is to report the injury. If the injury is sustained at work, the employer should be met in person and immediately informed. The employer should give the injured party forms to fill out and inform the company's insurance company.
In the case of a motor vehicle accident, the police should be informed as soon as possible because a police report may be required for making a claim. The victim should get the names and phone numbers of any witnesses of the accident as well as the other person's insurance provider and contact information. If photos of the scene can be taken, it's a good idea. Otherwise, notes should be taken about the kind of damage.
All of this information can be given to the police, and they will give a Traffic Incident Number (TIN) which is vital for making a claim.
For a public liability claim the victim should ascertain the property owner's name, inform them of the injury on their property and exchange contact information. The victim should also ask for the name of the owner's insurance provider. Whether the property has a private owner, is owned by a company or is the premises of a business, an incident report should be given.
The victim should consult his or her doctor for their own well-being as well as for legal purposes that will help support a personal injury claim.
Finally, the victim should contact a personal injury lawyer. This is essential for:
- A successful outcome of the claim
- Submitting the correct documents to the court
- Communication with other parties and insurance companies
- Maximizing the amount the victim may recover
The lawyer will gather evidence for the claim by writing to witnesses, talking to an employer, the doctor and other people involved in the claim. They will then write a letter of claim to the insurance company of the person responsible for the accident. The lawyer will follow pre-action protocol in an open discussion between the two parties, and if liability is denied, the lawyer must respond before sending financial losses, medical opinion and disclosure documents. Finally, there will be offers in settlement and, if required, court proceedings