What to Expect at Each Stage of an Alabama Personal Injury Claim

June 19, 2024

What to Expect at Each Stage of an Alabama Personal Injury Claim

Whether you’ve been injured in a car accident, slip and fall, or another type of accident, a personal injury claim can help you fight for full and fair compensation. The expenses can pile up after an accident, and a settlement or jury award can help you defray those costs. 

Knowing what to expect throughout a personal injury claim can help alleviate any anxiety you may feel about the process. Learn more about the personal injury claim process, and when you’re ready to move forward with your claim, call Hodges Trial Lawyers at 256-826-4129. 

Case Evaluation 

When you decide to pursue compensation for a personal injury, you’ll start by scheduling a consultation with an Alabama personal injury lawyer. Almost every personal injury attorney offers a free consultation, so there should be no risk to you. During your consultation, you’ll have a chance to tell the lawyer about your accident, the injuries you’ve suffered, and any expenses that have built up because of the crash. The lawyer will ask some relevant questions and tell you how strong your case is. If they believe you have a viable case, they’ll offer their services and you can choose to retain them. 

Investigation of the Accident and Injuries 

From there, your attorney will move on to the investigation stage. In addition to looking at the evidence you have supplied, they will also take steps to collect any other evidence that may be helpful to your case. For example, they may pull surveillance footage, talk to eyewitnesses and get their statements, and look at black box data from vehicles involved in a crash. In a dog bite case, they may look up other bite reports to see if the dog has a history of being violent. In a slip and fall claim, they may look into accident reports to see if the company in question has a long history of similar accidents. 

With this information and documentation, your attorney can build a case supporting your right to compensation and proving the other party’s liability. 

Negotiation with the Insurance Company 

After building your case, your lawyer will move to the next step: demanding compensation. Most personal injury claims go through the negligent party’s insurance company, rather than through the negligent party themselves. Your attorney will send a demand letter outlining the basics of their case and stating how much they are requesting on your behalf. Note that this is not the end point—it is merely the starting point for negotiations. 

The insurance company will then respond with their own counteroffer, generally substantially less than what you requested. Negotiations can end quickly or take a substantial amount of time; it all depends on how far apart those starting numbers are. 

Most cases end when both parties agree on a number that satisfies both sides. 

Settlement or Lawsuit 

If you reach a number that both parties can agree on, the attorneys will draw up the paperwork. You’ll sign paperwork waiving your right to sue for your current injuries and any other losses related to the incident in question. They will cut a settlement check. Any required expenses will be paid out of that, such as healthcare costs and your attorney’s fees. The remainder will be paid out to you. 

What if you cannot agree on a number during negotiations? At some point, negotiations fizzle out and your attorney will move forward with a lawsuit. This process takes quite a bit longer, as they will need to go through discovery, pretrial hearings, and every other step that comes with a civil trial. Both sides will present their case to a judge and jury. If there is a jury, the jury will decide if the other party is liable. If they find that they are liable, they will also decide how much the other party owes you. 

Ready to Start Your Claim? Contact Hodges Trial Lawyers Today 

If you’re ready to move forward with your personal injury claim, the team at Hodges Trial Lawyers is here to help you explore your options. Take the first step by calling us at 256-826-4129 or sending us a message online.