You’ve been injured because of another person’s negligence—what happens now? If you can prove the other party’s involvement in your accident and subsequent injuries, you may be able to recover compensation. This is good news for victims since injuries can lead to thousands of dollars in medical bills and other losses.
If you’ve never hired an attorney before, you may be overwhelmed at the prospect of pursuing a personal injury claim in Montgomery. However, the process is fairly straightforward, especially with the right guidance and support. Call McPhillips Shinbaum at 334-262-1911 to set up a consultation now.
Consultation and Case Evaluation
First, you’ll meet with a personal injury attorney in Montgomery. It’s important to find one whom you can trust and with whom you feel comfortable. Most personal injury lawyers offer free consultations, so don’t be afraid to meet with a second and third option if the first one doesn’t pan out. During your consultation, you’ll provide information on your accident and injuries. The attorney will ask relevant questions and determine the viability of your claim. If you have a viable case, you can choose to retain them to represent you.
From there, your Montgomery attorney will begin their investigation. This involves gathering evidence, analyzing it, preserving it properly, and determining how to use it in building your case. Evidence may include photos, video footage, eyewitness statements, testimony from expert witnesses, medical reports, police reports, and surveillance camera footage.
Throughout this process, the attorney will communicate with the insurance companies involved to streamline the claims process. This allows you to limit your communication with other parties and focus on your recovery.
As your attorney investigates, they will figure out who is liable for your injuries and who is responsible for compensation. The evidence will come together in a cohesive case that proves your right to compensation and outlines the other party’s liability.
Negotiations With the Other Party
Once your attorney has determined liability and put your evidence together in a way that solidifies your need for compensation, they will begin preparing for negotiations. Many people think that all personal injury claims result in a lawsuit, but in fact, most cases are resolved in out-of-court negotiations.
Your attorney may start by sending a demand letter to the other party’s insurance company or legal representative. The letter outlines your claims and the compensation you’re requesting. This isn’t the final step; it’s just a way to open negotiations. It’s very rare for an insurance company to receive a demand letter and just pay up.
You should expect the insurance company to counteroffer what they believe to be a reasonable number. Negotiations often involve multiple rounds of counteroffers before both parties reach a point where they are both satisfied. Your attorney will likely have a number in mind that they want to reach.
Settling or Litigation
In most situations, negotiations result in a number that you and your attorney are happy with. When this happens, you sign a legal agreement that waives your right to sue them for any injuries or other issues resulting from the accident in question. In exchange, you receive a lump sum payment.
Some cases simply cannot be settled through negotiations. This may happen when the insurance company overestimates the strength of its case or refuses to go above a certain number during negotiations. If the number is too low for you to consider, your attorney may move forward with a lawsuit. This is a much longer process that involves discovery, pre-trial preparations, and numerous other steps.
Receiving Your Settlement
Upon settling, your money may go through a few more hands before it reaches you. If your insurance paid for anything, they will recover the money they spent. From there, your attorney’s fee and any other expenses will be paid. Finally, you receive your settlement.
Ready to Start Your Personal Injury Claim? Call McPhillips Shinbaum
This is your chance to fight for what you deserve after an injury. Don’t take on the burden of medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses alone. Set up a consultation with the Montgomery personal injury attorneys at McPhillips Shinbaum by reaching out online or calling us at 334-262-1911.