People sustain injuries every day from a variety of causes. While some wounds are minor, others are severe and may require extensive medical treatments and prolonged recovery times. Serious injuries can also have long-lasting effects on your quality of life.

Not every injury qualifies you to make a personal injury claim. If you are eligible, you probably wonder how the process works and if you’ll have to go to court. The Judd Shaw Injury Law firm explains.

Do I Have To Go to Court To Settle My Personal Injury Claim?

What Is a Personal Injury Claim?

If someone else causes your injury, you may have grounds for a personal injury claim. If you qualify, you can seek reimbursement for injury-related expenses and compensation for other damages from the party or parties that caused your accident and resulting injuries.

To hold someone liable, you must prove negligence:

  1. Someone owed you a duty of care.
  2. That party breached their duty of care.
  3. The breach caused an accident.
  4. You sustained injuries or other damages as a direct result.

Making allegations of guilt isn’t sufficient; you need evidence to provide proof. While you may find evidence gathering challenging, your legal team at Judd Shaw Injury Law will conduct a thorough investigation to find the proof you need.

Are There Different Kinds of Personal Injury Claims?

Many kinds of accidents can give you grounds to file a personal injury claim:

Other kinds of accidents may also qualify. Contact us to see if you have a case.

Is There a Standard Procedure for Personal Injury Claims?

In most cases, the at-fault party or parties have some kind of liability insurance. You can file a claim seeking compensation against each responsible party.

After an investigation, the liable insurance company will respond to your claim. If they don’t deny it, they may offer a monetary settlement. You can either accept that amount or negotiate for a higher payout.

Most personal injury claims are settled between parties. If you prefer, you can file a civil lawsuit. However, taking your case to court adds significant time, stress, frustration and expense.

Don’t Insurance Companies Pay Fairly?

You might think insurance companies will offer fair compensation for your injuries and other damages. Unfortunately, that is rarely the case. Insurers may use various tactics to minimize the amount they have to pay:

  • Deny or delay your claim
  • Place an unfair portion of the blame on you
  • Try to trick you into admitting fault
  • Intentionally offer an extremely low settlement
  • Ask you to sign documents with fine print that will release their obligations

Many people don’t want to think badly of insurance companies and might believe they are trustworthy. These companies are businesses. What they don’t pay you can add to their bottom line. They are not your friends, and they don’t want to compensate you fairly.

Can You Ask for More Money After a Settlement?

Once you accept a settlement offer, you typically lose the right to seek further compensation. Signing this binding legal document before you are satisfied with the amount offered can cost you a lot of money and leave you unable to pay all of your injury-related bills.

Does Hiring an Attorney Make a Difference?

Did you know that people who hire a personal injury attorney typically receive significantly higher payouts than those who handle their cases alone? The majority of injured accident victims aren’t familiar with insurance company strategies, the legal challenges or how to achieve a favorable outcome through a personal injury claim.

When you hire a personal injury lawyer, we will advocate for your best interests and fight for your rights. We will not let insurance companies and their teams of attorneys take advantage of you.

When you hire the personal injury attorneys at Judd Shaw Injury Law firm, we will:

  • Provide information and case-specific advice
  • Handle administrative obligations
  • Serve as your spokesperson with insurance company representatives
  • Investigate your accident, gather evidence to support your claim and ensure that your assigned degree of fault is accurate
  • Negotiate a favorable settlement or take your case to trial if needed

You need to focus on recovery, so let us handle these tedious tasks for you.

Why Does Your Degree of Fault Matter?

More than one party can contribute to causing an accident, and your assigned fault percentage can make the difference between obtaining or not receiving compensation. In New Jersey, comparative negligence laws will not allow you to seek compensation if you are 51% or more responsible for causing your accident.

Even if you are able to seek a payout, your degree of fault reduces the amount of compensation you can receive. For instance, if you are 40% responsible, your maximum payout is only 60% of the total.

Without a competent personal injury lawyer on your side, insurance companies may blame you for more than your share of fault to reduce what they must pay.

Why Might Your Attorney Recommend a Court Trial?

Personal injury trials are rarely in your best interests. However, your lawyer may recommend taking your case to court if insurance companies deny your claim or refuse to offer a reasonable settlement through negotiations.

Monetary awards won in court may be higher than what you would obtain through settlements, but you take the risk of losing your case and receiving nothing. Your attorney will not suggest a trial lightly.

What Damages Can You Receive in a Personal Injury Claim?

Accidents and resulting injuries vary significantly, and your financial compensation depends on case-specific factors. However, you may qualify to receive different categories of damages.

Economic Damages

Accidents and injuries incur various expenses, and economic damages reimburse you for things like:

  • Medical treatments
  • Lost wages
  • Replacement services
  • Property damage

In this category, compensation is dollar-for-dollar. Keep your bills and receipts as evidence. In some cases, your attorney can also request compensation for future expenses.

Non-Economic Damages

Some accidents produce intangible but genuine wounds that adversely affect your quality of life. Non-economic damages compensate for damages such as:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Anxiety, depression and PTSD
  • Losing your capacity to enjoy life
  • Personal relationship damage
  • Permanent disfigurement or disability

Insurance companies often question the validity of these conditions. Without legal representation, you may have difficulty obtaining this type of compensation.

Your attorney can arrange for expert medical examinations and witnesses to prove these issues are genuine and that they affect you significantly. The worse these conditions are, the higher the non-economic damage amounts tend to be.

Why Should You Choose Judd Shaw Injury Law?

Please don’t take our word for it; contact us today to request your free, no-obligation case review. We will assess your claim, tell you how much it’s worth and how we can help. Call (803) 200-2000, use live chat or submit our consultation request form.

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Content edited by personal injury attorney Judd Shaw. From the beginning, Judd established a set of Core Values laying out the pursuit for excellence in client service. He is a regular host of the Working The Wow podcast, with the belief that providing an exceptional client experience is just as important as delivering a quality service or product. You can find us in Red Bank and Tom‘s River, New Jersey.