Filing a Personal Injury Claim
After an auto wreck or any other sudden accident, a rush to meet immediate needs soon gives way to a slow recovery process. Acute treatment of physical injuries gives way to rehabilitative care. Bills arrive and you might get letters from some lawyers offering to help you settle them. You had a good idea how to work with doctors to get through physical injuries but you might not be as familiar with civil litigation after a car wreck. You might even wonder why lawyers are offering to do work you think you paid an insurance company to take care of.
Here’s the thing. An insurance company is obligated to cover your loss. If you did not cause the accident, your insurance company will try to recover from the at-fault driver’s insurance company – even if they are the same company. The insurance adjuster’s obligations are to the insurance company, which must only meet its minimum legal obligation to you, which can be as little as they persuade you to accept.
Do I Need an Attorney for a Personal Injury Claim?
What the insurance company might not do – even probably will not do – is investigate the full extent of your loss. Your insurance company will not represent you when several medical providers all want a slice of the settlement you were hoping would leave a few extra dollars to help recoup lost wages after the accident. They might not take much interest in your pain and suffering claim. They might not tell you how much more you could potentially recover if you demanded full compensation.
That’s why you need a lawyer after an auto wreck, a slip and fall accident, or any other injury that resulted from someone else’s neglect. Wherever you are in your Oklahoma personal injury claim, talk to a lawyer. Talking to one of the expert personal injury attorneys in Tulsa, OK, helps you get valuable knowledge regarding what needs to be done.
Oklahoma Personal Injury Claims Explained
When you retain an Oklahoma auto accident lawyer to represent you in your personal injury matter, typical progression of an Oklahoma personal injury claim from the moment of occurrence through eventual financial compensation looks like this:
Take care of emergency needs immediately.
If you are conscious after your accident, let the emergency medical teams attend to you, no matter how well you feel. If it is a slip and fall accident, and you can walk after your accident, seek medical attention as soon as you can.
Report the accident to the police.
Cooperate with the police after they arrive at the scene of the crash. If you can take pictures of the accident scene or videos, do so. Record everything at the scene. Preserve this evidence. If you cannot record the accident scene, get someone else to do it for you. If you have been involved in an auto accident, the police are going to write a report about it, and you should pick this report from them.
Call an attorney.
Do not speak too much with your insurer, sign things, and admit liability and so on after your accident. Talk to a personal injury lawyer in Tulsa OK, who is an expert in injury law and who will take your side in the matter and fight for your best interests. Do not delay talking to your lawyer as you will need to inform your insurer about your accident. Your lawyer needs to be present as you involve your insurance agent in the matter of your accident.
Complete your treatment.
Before making your claim, you and your lawyer must know what you have spent on medical bills. You need to have made Maximum Medical Improvement when the figure for your medical bill after the accident is determined. This is why you need to complete your treatment or have come to that point where you know what treatment you will require and for how long. Keep all records of all the treatment you receive and the medical bills you pay filed and safe.
Preparation of demand letter.
When it is in the clear how your health is and what treatment you have received or will continue to receive, your attorney should collect all medical bills and prepare a demand letter to the at-fault party concerning your injury.
Negotiations should begin at this stage.
The lawyer for the at-fault party or their insurer will get back to your lawyer. They can accept to meet the demand, request changes to the demand, or come back with a settlement offer. This is a crucial part of the discussions since should the negotiations fail, the matter goes to trial. Talks may collapse at this point because the other side may feel the medical bills are exaggerated or the injuries stated were not what was suffered after the accident. They may also refuse to take responsibility.
Settlement or trial.
If the negotiations go well, an agreement is reached for the settlement amount. However, this does not always happen, and at times, the personal injury claim case may go to trial. This is seldom a preferred approach, and there is still a pre-trial period when the two sides may agree.
When your medical or auto insurance company has already paid some portion of your accident related expenses, they will have a right to subrogation when the responsible party’s insurer pays off. Subrogation requires that the settlement be dispersed to creditors before you can pocket any. If the settlement does not cover all of the costs, your attorney may file an interpleader, asking the court to fairly distribute the settlement – preferably in your favor.
Your attorney arranges to disperse payments to creditors, himself or herself and you. This is the last step in an Oklahoma personal injury claim. The lawyer disperses the monies released by your insurance company to creditors, yourself and pays his own legal fees.
For the injured party the hardest part of settling a personal injury claim, in Tulsa, OK, is often waiting for the other side to respond with a reasonable offer to settle a reasonable demand. If you get a qualified lawyer on your side and know the process, it can be a simple matter get paid in full for injuries resulting from an auto accident.
Free Consultation: Tulsa Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have been injured and are thinking of pursuing a claim, do not go it alone. Our personal injury lawyer will help you every step of the way. A Wirth Law Office – Tulsa personal injury lawyer is skilled, experienced and interested in getting each client the best outcome in their personal injury matter.
Do not leave determining the amount of your claim to someone who does not legally represent your interests. Get someone on your side so that you are compensated adequately. Talk to a Tulsa personal injury lawyer today. Call Wirth Law Office at (918) 879-1681 for a free, no-obligation consultation.