When you get injured in an accident, there are several steps involved in recovering your losses. Some of these steps you will need to take on your own, and others you will need to hire an attorney to handle for you.
With more than 150 years of combined experience, the accomplished attorneys at O’Connor & Partners, PLLC have built a reputation for excellence in a wide range of personal injury cases. We are passionate about helping accident victims recover the full and fair compensation they need to get back on track with their lives.
Below, we provide an overview of the personal injury settlement timeline, with a brief explanation of what you can expect at each step along the way.
Steps Involved in Settling a Personal Injury Claim
If you’ve been hurt in an accident caused by another’s negligence, you deserve fair compensation for your physical, emotional, and financial losses. Below, we discuss the primary steps involved in settling a personal injury claim in New York.
Hiring an Attorney
After any type of accident, your first step is to hire a personal injury attorney. There is no reason to wait, and there are benefits to hiring an attorney right away. The sooner you hire a lawyer, the sooner your lawyer can investigate your accident, and the sooner you can get on the road to recovery.
Conducting an Investigation
The investigation is a critical step in the personal injury settlement process. When investigating your accident, your personal injury lawyer will seek to determine not only how the accident happened, but also who was at fault. Both of these are key factors for evaluating your claim and determining how much you may be entitled to recover.
Filing a Claim (or Claims)
Once your personal injury attorney determines who is liable for your accident, your attorney can file a claim on your behalf. If multiple parties are liable, your lawyer may be able to file multiple claims. On the other hand, if you only suffered relatively minor injuries in a vehicle collision, then you may be limited to seeking compensation under your personal injury protection (PIP) policy.
Taking Care of Your Medical Needs
When you have a personal injury claim, it is extremely important that you take care of your medical needs. This means obtaining a diagnosis as soon as possible and closely following your doctor’s treatment plan. Your attorney will focus on handling every aspect of your claim so you can focus solely on healing.
Calculating Your Losses
With a clear understanding of your medical needs and your injuries’ effects, you and your attorney can determine how much you are entitled to recover. Calculating your losses is a crucial step in the personal injury settlement timeline, as it allows you to make an informed decision about when to resolve your claim (or claims).
Negotiating for a Fair Settlement
Unfortunately, you cannot simply expect the insurance companies to pay what you are owed. Instead, you will need to rely on your attorney to negotiate on your behalf. Using the evidence that is available, your attorney will work to secure a favorable settlement that provides adequate compensation for your injury-related losses.
Evaluating Settlement Offers
Receiving a settlement offer can be exciting, but you must be careful not to accept prematurely. Your lawyer will help you evaluate each offer you receive and make an informed decision about whether it provides adequate compensation for the effects of your injuries.
Going to Trial, If Necessary
If your attorney and the insurance company fail to come to an agreement, it may be necessary to take your case before a judge and jury. By this time, your attorney will have thoroughly investigated your case, obtained relevant evidence and testimony, and built a compelling case on your behalf. After each side has presented its case, a judge or jury will decide the outcome on your behalf.
Moving On with Your Life
Once the settlement process is over it is time to begin the new process of moving on with your life. Your attorney will provide you with guidance for the months to come, and you will want to continue to follow your doctor’s advice. If your attorney was able to help you secure a fair settlement, then you should have the financial resources you need to not only cover your medical expenses but to manage the other financial and non-financial costs of your injuries as well.
If you’ve been harmed because of someone else’s negligence, you shouldn’t have to face your challenges alone. Call O’Connor & Partners, PLLC today at 845-303-8777 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a New York personal injury attorney. You can also tell us about your accident online. Our firm proudly serves clients throughout New York, with offices in Kingston, Newburgh, and Poughkeepsie.