You may need to file a personal injury claim if you have been injured on the job, in a car accident or in another event where someone else was at-fault for your injuries. Obtaining money from an insurance company following the accident can be straight-forward or complex depending on a number of factors. Sometimes independent state laws play major roles in claims. These are the top things to look into before filing your claim.
- Time Limits
If you think you have unlimited time to file a claim or lawsuit, think again. All states have statutes of limitations that define a deadline for filing a claim. The deadline begins as soon as the accident has occurred or as soon as you realize you’re injured. If it passes before you’ve filed a claim, you’re out of luck. The average timeframe for limitations is two to six years, but some states have longer or shorter limits. Always double-check your own state’s laws.
- State Laws
State laws can also affect other aspects of a claim, including whether or not you need a police report in order to file at all and the definition of negligence. There are various forms of negligence, some that place the fault on only one person and others that split the fault between the two parties. Confusing these laws can have negative consequences on your case, so be sure you understand them fully.
- Proving Negligence
If you’re claiming that another person caused the accident and is therefore responsible for your injuries, you’ll need evidence to back it up. Usually, you’ll need to prove that the guilty party had a duty to maintain your safety, that they breached that duty by acting recklessly or carelessly, and that the accident they caused resulted in your injuries. Without that chain of evidence, it can be incredibly difficult to file a claim or lawsuit against another person to receive compensation from their insurance company.
- Insurance Companies
When it comes to paying for claims, insurance companies aren’t willing to give in so easily. If a claim includes a large sum of money, you may expect to fight the insurance company for your rights to it.
If you struggle dealing with them, try talking to a lawyer, about your claim. Not only does a lawyer know state laws and regulations, but they have ample experience handling insurance claims adjusters and other unpleasant parts of the claims process. They can be your best bet for reaching a successful settlement.