Making a Personal Injury Claim: Understanding the Process

Hopefully you never have to make a personal injury claim in your life. But if you’re reading this post, that may not be the case. For most people, this is a process you only go through once, which means there can be a big learning curve involved with understanding the process of a personal injury claim.

In this post, our team at Sandberg Law Firm will walk you through the process of making a personal injury claim. Please keep in mind, we’re painting with broad strokes in this blog post! The process can vary significantly depending on the specific factors of your case. Your personal injury law firm will guide you through your process, step-by-step, diligently explaining the proceedings every step of the way. And, now, for the 30,000-foot view…

Step One: Hire the Best Personal Injury Attorney

If you have suffered an injury, hiring the best personal injury attorney in your area is an excellent first step. Do you “need” an attorney? No. It’s possible to handle your claim yourself. However, the savings on legal fees might be significantly outweighed by receiving a lesser settlement when you self-represent. (Additionally, self-representation can be quite stressful and difficult.)

Keep in mind, most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. This means the lawyer doesn’t get paid if you don’t get paid. As far as fees are concerned, most all of the best personal injury attorneys charge the same percentage fees. So, don’t worry about “shopping” based on price. Instead, find a lawyer that you feel comfortable with. This attorney should be someone who has excellent communication skills, educates you about the legal process and your options, and prioritizes your best interests over the firm’s.

Step Two: Review the Statute of Limitations

There are restrictions surrounding how long an individual has to file a lawsuit after an injury. These vary from state to state and statute to statute. In Minnesota, for example, there is only a two-year statute of limitations for personal injuries, while there is a six-year statute of limitations for injury to personal property. 

Step Three: Prelitigation & Demand Letters

Settling outside of court is preferable in many cases. It could be that your personal injury claim is covered by the defendant’s insurance policy; or the defendant may choose to settle outside of court to avoid the legal hassle. Your personal injury attorney may work with you to send what’s known as a “demand letter,” which may lead to a settlement without even going to court.

Steph Four: Filing a Complaint 

If a demand letter does not lead to a settlement, then it may become necessary to file a complaint against the defendant or their insurance company. Filing a complaint informs the court of your intention to pursue a lawsuit. The defendant must then be served the complaint within 30 days. The defendant will then (most likely) respond, causing the case to proceed.

Step Five: Discovery Process

The discovery process involves the collection of information from both sides (defendant and plaintiff). 

Step Six: Settlement

Finally, the case will reach a settlement. Typically, a settlement is reached before trial during planned negotiation and mediation. At this point, a financial agreement is made and put into writing. In very few cases will the case actually go to trial.

Have Questions?

The best personal injury attorneys will answers your questions during a free initial consultation. Don’t settle for anything less. To schedule with Sandberg Law Firm, call (507) 282-3521 or schedule online.