A personal injury accident is a mistake or an incident that causes injuries to one’s self or another individual. Personal injuries usually occur as a result of negligence.
For instance, an inattentive driver rear-ends the car in front of them which subsequently causes bodily harm to the occupants. The people hurt in this car crash scenario would seek remedies for their personal injuries from either an insurance company or by suing the driver in civil court.
If the personal injury is severe enough to break bones, for example, they may need surgery and extensive treatment in order to heal properly and fully recover from their injuries. Sometimes broken bones aren’t the only thing people have to deal with after a car accident.
The force of an impact can cause internal bleeding and damage to the brain, which then leads to long-term problems such as headaches or memory loss.
Personal injury accidents do not have to involve just motor vehicles, nor must they happen on public roads or properties. In fact, many personal injury cases are associated with medical mistakes, which occur in hospitals every year.
People can also be seriously injured in accidents such as a slip and fall. For example, if someone falls down the stairs in an office building and breaks their leg, it might be due to poor lighting on the stairs or a lack of handrails.
This type of personal injury is more common than people think, and could easily happen to anyone. Injuries from slips and falls are often serious because they happen so suddenly and without much warning.
In addition, people who slip and fall may hit their heads when they land, causing permanent brain damage if they don’t receive immediate medical care.
Am I Obligated To Notify The Responsible Parties For My Personal Injury Claim?
After you’ve received medical attention for your injuries as a result of another person’s negligent or intentional actions, then your next step is to notify all the responsible parties.
Either you or your personal injury attorney must notify those who may be legally responsible for causing your injuries. if you do not notify these individuals, it can affect whether you are able to recover compensation for all of your injuries and losses.
It is therefore important to notify those who may be liable as soon as possible after an accident occurs.
Notifying the responsible parties involves sending them a written notice of claim that informs them that they caused your personal injury and puts them on notice of the damages that resulted from their actions. Depending on your state’s laws, a notice of claim may be required before filing a lawsuit against another individual or business.
How Do I Notify The Person Who Injured Me?
- Certified Mail. If you notify the responsible parties yourself, you can notify them by either certified mail or personal delivery- i.e., hand-delivered. If you notify them by certified mail, make sure to keep a copy of your letter and the certified mail receipt for your records.
- First Class Mail. You may also want to send an additional copy of the notification via first-class mail as secondary proof that you notified the party in writing in case they refuse to sign the certified mail receipt since first-class mail is delivered as regular mail.
- Email. If you have the responsible person’s email, you can send a notification via email in addition to mailing a notice via first class. Email tracking programs can inform you if the email was read and the date it was read. UPS and FedEx are additional alternatives, but make sure you request that a signature be required for delivery.
You can also mail a copy of any medical bills or other expenses that you incurred as a result of your injuries. In some states, if you mail a copy of the initial medical bills, the insurance carrier must divulge the policy limits so you know how much insurance coverage may be available.
Keep a record of how and when you notified the responsible person or entity. Notifying these individuals yourself can speed up the process and help ensure that proper notice is given to all parties involved in your case.
If you have to file a claim with the responsible party’s insurance, you will need to include the following information:
- Your name and contact information
- A description of the accident
- When and how it happened
- Where it happened
- Who was involved in the accident including all responsible parties, plus witnesses to your claim
- What type of injuries you’ve suffered in the accident, their extent, and when they occurred
- Any police or accident reports supporting your claim
Who are the Responsible Parties in My Personal Injury Claim?
If your injuries stem from an automobile accident, you may already have some of the information you need. If not, you can start by doing some light investigating.
For example, if the defendant was driving a company vehicle, check with that business to see if the driver was covered under its insurance policy. You can ask to speak with the person in charge of their claims or you can call their insurer directly.
If the defendant was driving their personal vehicle, find out who their policy is with, and contact them directly.
If the person who hit you does not have insurance, then your claim will be against that party’s assets unless you are otherwise covered on your own policy. Keep in mind that all insurance policies have limits, so what you can recover will be defined by how much coverage is on your side of the claim.
For cases where there was a defective product involved, determine first if it had been recalled. If not, find out who manufactured or designed the product and contact them directly.
You may also want to contact an attorney with experience in handling these kinds of claims before delving into the matter further. They are sometimes more complicated than basic injury claims where another person has been responsible for hitting you with their car or truck.
How Long Do I Have To Notify Responsible Parties?
States differ on how long a person has to file a claim, but typically in a personal injury case, a plaintiff has 1 to 2 years from the date of the accident to file suit against a responsible party. This window of time is called the statute of limitations.
If you fail to meet this deadline and do not file a complaint within the statute of limitations, a defendant can file a motion to dismiss the case, and if granted, a plaintiff may be barred from recovery.
In cases of medical malpractice, the statute of limitations typically begins to toll after a person becomes aware of an injury.
Do I Need An Attorney?
Lawyers who specialize in personal injury claims and accident litigation will know which questions to ask, what evidence to gather, and how to present your claim or case. Additionally, personal injury attorneys are familiar with working with insurance companies.
Every state has its own laws regarding giving notice to responsible parties and any statute of limitations, which sets forth the maximum time in which you can file your claim.