How Does a Personal Injury Claim Work?

These basics will help you plan for the future and give you a better understanding of how your claim will develop. Let’s take a look at each part of the process for a personal injury claim.

How to Understand a Personal Injury Claim

Before we get into detail about a personal injury case, it is helpful to know what that actually means. A personal injury case is a formal proceeding in which an injured party ( plaintiff), seeks financial compensation from another party they believe is liable (defendant). A plaintiff might consider the other party responsible for their damages if they cause the injury, or because the incident was covered by insurance.

The plaintiff will first need to send a demand letter asking for payment from the defendant for damages. The case will move to the lawsuit stage if the insurance company refuses or cannot reach a compromise. These are the pre-litigation or litigation parts of the process.

Sending a Demand Letter

Now it is time to actually get started. This process almost always begins with a demand letter.

Personal injury claims are centered around the demand letter. The demand letter is where the injured person makes their case to the insurance company about why they should cover the damages. This includes:

  • Why the defendant is legally liable
  • A summary of the injuries sustained
  • Which medical treatment was required and what they cost
  • The amount of income the plaintiff lost due to time off work
  • Other damages, such as pain and suffering

The insurance company might review the claim and decide whether to pay it or not (called a denied claim). An insurance company may decline to pay a claim if:

  • They feel that the injury was their fault
  • Because of a lack of evidence
  • Because they believe the injury wasn’t caused by an accident
  • or for any other reason they consider appropriate.

If the insurance company refuses to pay or doesn’t cover enough, then the injured party may file a complaint.

This post was written by Kelly-Ann Jenkins of Jenkins Law P.L. Kelly-Ann is a car accident attorney in St Pete. She focuses on personal injury, car accidents, and bicyclist injury. The information on this site is not intended to and does not offer legal advice, legal recommendations, or legal representation on any matter. Hiring an attorney is an important decision, which should not be based on advertising. You need to consult an attorney for legal advice regarding your individual situation. 

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