Accidents have become very common and unavoidable in our present world. They may occur at any place, our home, workplace, roads, and schools or colleges. Statistics say that nearly 6 million car accidents take place in a year in the U.S.
The National Centre for Health Statistics, a department within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has stated that around 31 million people are injured across our country each year that require medical treatment. Of these, 2 million are severely injured enough to require some form of hospitalization. Of all these humongous numbers, only 4 percent of the personal injury claims go to a trial and others are mostly settled outside.
From the data, we have provided, you must have got a clear idea of how many personal injury claims are filed in the U.S., every year. But do all the people know, what are the processes followed in a personal injury claim? We are discussing it in this blog.
Timeline of A Personal Injury Claim
A personal injury claim is a process in which a plaintiff claims compensation money from the defendant for the injury caused to him/her. We will discuss the various process or steps involved in a personal injury claim.
Occurrence of an Accident
As we discussed earlier, accidents cannot be prevented despite following all safety measures. Mostly it can happen due to the fault of some other person. It may be a road accident, boating accident, slip and fall, or a dog bite.
Once an accident occurs, we all feel depressed due to the injuries caused, the money spent on the treatment, and our plans being disrupted. Although we cannot be assisted with the other problems, we do have a solution for the money spent. It can be claimed in a personal injury claim. So, once an accident occurs, you get treated in a hospital. And if it is not your fault, make sure you go for a personal injury claim.
Initial Consultation of a Personal Injury Attorney
Most people wait for the insurance company to offer their money and consult an attorney only if they are not satisfied with it. But it is better to consult an attorney immediately after your treatment. A study by the Insurance Research Council reports that a person hiring an attorney receives 3.5 times larger settlements than those from the insurance firms.
We also strongly recommend you to consult an attorney at the earliest because an attorney does not take up a case that do not need their service. Also, most of the attorneys provide the first consultation for free.
Investigation and Medical Records
Now, that you have consulted an attorney, he/she starts to investigate your case. He sends his team to the scene of the accident and collects as much information as possible. They mostly photograph the scene, so that it can be documented easily.
After studying the scene of the accident, the attorney investigates you and the defendant regarding the accident. This is done to have a better understanding of the accident.
In this investigation, try to be as open as possible to the attorney. Tell him, if you had any previous injuries or even if you have a debt.
After the investigation, the attorney collects all your medical records. These medical records are the most important evidence in a personal injury claim. The collected medical records are mostly outsourced to a medical records review firm like LezDo TechMed.
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The medical record review firm reviews all your medical records and create a medical review report. This is done because most of the attorneys do not understand the data provided in a medical record. The medical record review firm summarizes and adds only the most important points in chronological order. This helps the attorney to understand your medical records. By which he can argue in a more confident manner to the jury and get you your claim.
Filing a Claim
Most of the personal cases are settled outside the court by the concerned people themselves. But some cases need to be brought the court.
If you proceed to file a personal injury lawsuit, the attorney will file a case with all the documents and records he had already collected. In this, you will be filed as the plaintiff and the person you sue will be listed as the defendant. The complaint will state the type of accident you have been met with, the injuries, and legal points stating how are you liable to the claim.
After filing the case, both the parties undergo an exchange of evidence. Your lawyer then sends a list of questions to the defendant to be answered. The lawyer will then request the documents from the defendant. In this process, both parties may take a sworn statement. Now, the lawyer may get a brief account of the understanding of your medical records from the medical record review firm to equip himself for the hearing.
Mostly the attorneys on both sides try negotiating on the claim and try to reach a settlement. In this negotiation, the defendant agrees to provide the money to the plaintiff and in return, the plaintiff will release the defendant of all the liabilities.
At first, the plaintiff demands a certain amount of money from the defendant. The defendant may negotiate by providing a lower offer. The plaintiff may sometimes accept it and in some cases claim for more. This negotiation goes to and fro and sometimes comes to an agreement and in some cases goes for a trial.
Personal Injury Trial
Finally, if all the negotiations go wrong and both the parties don’t reach a settlement, the case will go to trial. At the trial, all the documents and medical records are to be submitted to the jury.
The jury decides the amount the plaintiff deserves from the defendant by reviewing all the medical records. This is why we have been always stressing the importance of medical record review services because at this point the medical record summary is the most important document the jury takes into account.
The settlement amount decided by the jury cannot be predicted by any means. As the jury is six different people from different walks of life. They determine the amount to be settled to the plaintiff by the defendant.
I hope you now have a clear idea about a personal injury claim. The most important POINT I personally want you to be aware of is the importance of a medical record review summaries. I leave it to you, just imagine yourself as a jury and think which are the records you would base your verdict on. Obviously, the medical record review report or the medical record summary report. This is why you need a very good medical record review company like LezDo TechMed.
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