Steps in a Personal Injury Claim

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Steps in a Personal Injury Claim

Written by Malman Law, reviewed by Steve J. Malman.

If you’ve been injured, your insurance company will not necessarily just send you money to cover your medical bills. The process is more extensive than that, and it is important to have the right legal help

1. First Things First, Call 9-1-1  

It is better to call 911 and risk being told, “This is not an emergency,” than for you to need emergency services and not call. Did you know many 9-1-1 call centers are now equipped to receive text messages if you are in a situation where making a voice call could further endanger you? The dispatcher will be the one to decide if you require a first responder. Because so many injuries are not obvious immediately after an accident like a slip and fall or car crash, it is important to call 9-1-1 either way. Calling 9-1-1 is also a key step in establishing a timeline for a personal injury claim. 

2. Protect the Accident Scene  

If you were involved in an accident, focus on making sure everyone gets the medical attention they need. If you are able (or you can ask a bystander), take photos or videos of the scene. Keep any relevant records, receipts, documentation as well.

3. Write Down Your Version of What Happened

Diary entries, emails, and text messages are admissible in court and can make great leverage in a settlement. Write down everything you remember, including dates, times, direct quotes, full names, and anything else connected to the accident. The sooner you can write your account down after the incident, the better. If you don’t keep a journal, write your account in an email and send it to a friend.

4. Follow Up Medical Treatment  

Follow the treatment regimen given to you by your doctor and/or physical therapist.  Whiplash, for example, is an injury people often mishandle because it gets progressively worse, not progressively better. Your neck might not even feel injured immediately after being rear-ended, but a paramedic will no doubt give you a neck collar to wear anyway. If you don’t follow the instructions of your medical team, this could hurt your chance of winning a personal injury lawsuit.

5. Call a Personal Injury Lawyer 

As soon as you are well enough, you have nothing to lose by calling a lawyer who specializes in cases like yours. Not only can the lawyer sue for damages, but they can help you negotiate with the insurance companies for the maximum settlement offer possible. Again, it never hurts to get a bit of free legal advice.

6. Negotiating a Settlement  

Your lawyer will contact your insurance company (if applicable) and start taking care of negotiating a settlement. If a reasonable settlement can not be reached out of court, your lawyer will then file a lawsuit and take your case to court. Settling is still an option even after a lawsuit has been filed, but if not, your case will be tried in open court with witness testimony, a jury, and a judge. 

Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers Here to Fight For You 

Get what you are legally entitled to under the law—a fair amount of money to cover your injuries (now and in the future), property damage, lost wages, and hassle. To get started, contact Malman Law today.

Steve Malman

Malman Law’s founder Attorney Steven Malman has over 30 years of experience handling personal injury, nursing home, medical malpractice, truck accidents, car accidents, premises liability, construction, and workers’ compensation cases in Chicago, IL.

Years of experience: +30 years
Justia Profile: Steve Malman
Illinois Registration Status: Active and authorized to practice law—Last Registered Year: 2024

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This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by President and Founder, Steven J. Malman who has more than 20 years of legal experience as a personal injury attorney.

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