Personal Injury Claims Process
Every personal injury claim is different based on the specific facts and circumstances surrounding each incident. However, at one point or another, almost every personal injury claim will progress through 7 similar steps on an insurance claim, which we have outlined below.
1. Initial Consultation
During the initial consultation, your personal injury attorney will meet with you to discuss the circumstances of your personal injury claims and address any concerns that you may have. Typically, the topics discussed will include the following:
- How the incident occurred.
- Who was involved in the incident.
- Who may be liable for causing the incident.
- What injuries were sustained as a result of the incident.
- What treatment you have received for any injuries sustained.
- What future treatment you may need to treat those injuries.
At the end of your initial consultation, your injury attorney should provide you with an assessment of your personal injury claims and advise on how best to proceed based on your specific needs.
Many times this investigation will consist of:
- Visiting the scene of the accident to take pictures.
- Obtaining any accident or incident reports regarding the event that forms the basis of your claim.
- Identifying all possible parties at fault and setting up claims with their insurance carriers.
- Ordering medical bills and records associated with treatment for injuries sustained in the accident.
While your injury attorney is conducting an investigation and setting up insurance claims, you should be focusing on recovering from injuries sustained as a result of the accident. It is important to follow your doctor’s prescribed course of treatment to make a full recovery and reach maximum medical improvement. While you are treating it is often helpful to keep a journal of the medical providers seen, out-of-pocket expenses incurred and the dates it was necessary for you to miss work as a result of any treatment. This will help ensure your attorney accounts for all possible damages you may be entitled to and include them in your Demand.
4. Demand Package
The Demand Package tells the story of your personal injury claim including how the accident occurred, the theory of liability, and demand for settlement. The Demand Package may include the following:
- Police Report or Incident Report
- Pictures of Property Damage and Injuries
- Medical Bills and Records
- Receipts for Out-of-Pocket Expenses
- Documentation of Lost Wages
Once the Demand Package is complete, your attorney will review the demand with you to ensure it is complete. The Demand Package is then sent to the insurance carrier for the party at fault for your injuries, who review the demand and conduct an evaluation of the value of your claims.
Once the Demand Packet has been reviewed by the insurance carrier, they will normally respond with an offer for settlement. Your injury lawyer at Stokes Stemle, LLC will immediately notify you of when an offer for settlement is received and discuss with you the different options you have based on his or her knowledge and experience in dealing with thousands of other personal injury claims. However, ultimately the decision on whether to accept their offer, make a counter-demand, or file a lawsuit is up to you. It is your case, you are the boss.
In the event we are able to negotiate a settlement with the insurance that completely and adequately compensates you for your personal injuries, then we will prepare a settlement agreement outlining the terms of the settlement. Prior to executing the Settlement Agreement, your attorney should prepare a Settlement Memo for your review that shows how the proceeds of the settlement will be disbursed. While most personal injury claims are able to be successfully negotiated, sometimes a lawsuit must be filed when the insurance companies fail t o appreciate the full value of the injuries you have received.
In the event that negotiations with the at-fault party stall, and we are unable to come to a settlement agreement, the next step is normally to file a lawsuit and present your claim for injuries to a jury and obtain a verdict against those responsible for your injuries.
Contact Our Montgomery Personal Injury Lawyers Today for Free Consultation
If you have been injured in an accident, the attorneys at Stokes Stemle, LLC – Personal Injury Attorneys are here to help you. Your lawyer will guide you through the insurance claims and keep you update every step of the way. Call us today at 334.316.4123 to speak to a car accident attorney and set up your for, confidential consultation at one of our offices located in Auburn, Dothan, Opelika or Montgomery.
This article was initially published in December 2018, but was updated April 2022 for comprehensiveness.