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5 Steps in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Filing a personal injury lawsuit is not something most people take lightly. Since personal injury lawsuits are not the sort of thing you do frequently, knowing how the process works can be confusing for the uninitiated. You may have questions about how to file a claim, how long it can take to get through the process, and if you’re more likely to settle than battle it out in court.

When you suffer serious injuries due to another person’s carelessness, consulting a personal injury attorney is the best way to protect your rights. You don’t have to live with debilitating injuries that can impact your ability to work and live a productive life.

Part of any successful personal injury lawsuit involves understanding the steps in the process. Here is what you can expect if you decide to pursue a personal injury claim.

Step 1: Consult a personal injury attorney

Don’t wait to file a claim. New Mexico’s statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits is three years. Selecting a personal injury attorney to represent you is the single most important step you can take to prepare. An online search for personal injury attorneys in Albuquerque reveals you have plenty of options. Choose wisely. Not all personal injury lawyers are created equally. Some have more experience than others, with proven track records for getting their clients fair compensation for their injuries.

Make sure you pick a legal representative willing to take the best approach to solving your problem. Most skilled personal injury attorneys can get settlements for their clients without resorting to lengthy – and stressful – court cases.

Step 2: Provide details about your case

Experienced personal injury attorneys thoroughly investigate the incident that led to your injuries as part of taking your case. They do this for two reasons:

  1. To determine all liable parties; and
  2. To collect all relevant evidence for proving your case.

As part of their examination of your case, a personal injury attorney should gather police reports, medical treatment records, and eye-witness accounts to prove your claim. All these things together help build a solid case, making your chances of reaching an out-of-court settlement more likely.

Step 3: Issue a claim for compensation

Following your personal injury attorney’s thorough review of all the evidence in your case, he or she will file a demand for compensation with the responsible party’s insurance company. Sometimes the process requires a single claim, like in the case of an automobile accident. Other times, multiple claims may be required if more than one party is liable for your injuries. Multiple claims are most common with product or premises liability cases.

As part of the claim for compensation, your attorney may provide:

  • Details (including photos) about your injuries.
  • Evidence collected from the accident scene that identifies the liable party.
  • Information about lost wages, medical bills, and other expenses related to your injuries.

A comprehensive accounting of your case can help produce a speedier resolution and avoid costly legal battles in court.

Make sure you choose an attorney willing to negotiate a fair settlement.

Step 4: Engage in negotiations

Most experienced personal injury lawyers push for out-of-court settlements to make the process easier on their clients. Plaintiffs in personal injury claims also prefer this route, when possible, to reduce negative publicity about the case. This is especially important for businesses and products that don’t want to tarnish their reputations.

Make sure your attorney doesn’t jump at the first offer for settlement without reviewing to ensure the proposal is fair to you. Sometimes plaintiffs, at the behest of their insurance companies, send lowball offers to see if they can convince victims to settle for less than they deserve. A top-notch personal injury attorney can spot the signs of these kinds of offers and push back to get you more.

If you reach an agreement, all that’s left to do is sign any formal paperwork and the process is complete.

Step 5: Go to court (if necessary)

When negotiations made in good faith fail, victims have little recourse except to push forward with their claims in the courts. Your attorney can advise whether taking your case this far is necessary. As part of the review process, they can provide an outlook for success.

Most reputable personal injury attorneys do not take on cases they know are unwinnable. Still, it is important to discuss how a court case might go before you agree to pursue it. Court cases can drag on and be emotionally and physically draining on victims. Make sure it’s worth it before you agree to put yourself through that kind of stress.

Finding an experienced personal injury attorney

When you’re the victim of someone else’s negligence, you need a personal injury attorney you can count on to pursue fair compensation. Bill Russell has represented clients throughout the state of New Mexico, standing up for victims who have suffered at the hands of another. Contact Bill today to schedule your free case evaluation. Call 505-218-7844 or request an appointment online.

February 23, 2022

Call Cameron & Russell for a Free Case Evaluation

Bill Russell and Marcus Cameron are the faces behind Cameron & Russell. We go the extra mile for our clients to pursue personal injury claims and provide criminal defense. We approach every case with a fresh eye to detail and the determination to represent our clients to the fullest extent the law allows. We passionately defend clients facing criminal charges, and relentlessly seek out fair compensation for personal injury claims. No matter your situation, we promise to tirelessly represent your legal needs. 

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