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Is it hard to file a personal injury claim on my own?

If you have been injured in a car accident, slip and fall, or due to the negligence of a medical care provider you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Whether or not to hire a lawyer, however, is an important question. The answer probably depends on the complexity of your injuries and whether or not you have the time, energy, and expertise to file your own case.

Before deciding whether or not to hire an injury lawyer, however, it is important to consider how hard it might be to fight and win compensation on your own.

Factors to consider before filing a case on your own

  • Prior to deciding whether or not to hire an injury lawyer, you will need to consider the severity of your injuries. If you are severely injured you may need all the strength and energy you have to recover and may not be able to handle the hassle of a lengthy, legal battle.
  • Assuming, however, that you have the time and energy to file your case, it's important to understand what is involved in filing a claim. This will tell you whether it will be too hard for you to file it on your own or whether you will need legal help.

Steps to filing an injury claim

How hard is it to file an injury claim? It will depend on how hard it is for you to complete certain legal steps. For instance, first you will need to collect evidence for the case. This will include taking photographs, writing down what happened, and gathering all medical bills and information about property damage and lost wages. You will also need to gather information from anyone who witnessed the accident.

Gathering information, however, is only the first step to filing an injury claim. Next, you will need to determine if someone else may be responsible for your injuries. In some states this can be more difficult than others. For instance, in some states you may be barred from recovery if you actions contributed to your injuries. In other states you may only be able to recover payment if you were less than 51% fault. Find out your state's law. If your injuries are significant and clearly another person's fault contact their insurance company and start the negotiation process.

Finally, whether or not it is hard to settle an injury claim may depend on your skills as a negotiator. If you cannot negotiate effectively you may receive a low settlement offer and be forced to take your case to court. If you are a great negotiator you may be able to get a great settlement without ever going to court.

Statute of Limitations for an injury claim

All injury claims must be filed within a specific amount of time called the statute of limitations. Although this could be up to two years or more for certain claims, states have different limitations for different types of injuries. If you wait too long to file your injury claim you will be barred from recovering compensation for your injuries. Talk to an injury lawyer about your options.