How To File a Personal Injury Claim

how to file a personal injury claim

If you or someone you love has suffered an injury and someone else is at fault, a personal injury claim might be your next step. Personal injury cases are resolved in two primary ways: insurance claims and lawsuits. Most people start by filing an insurance claim and move on to a lawsuit if necessary.

A lawyer can help you with the whole process, even if you never need to go to court. The skilled legal team at Warner Law Offices has decades of experience and a proven track record of success. We’re here to explain how to file a personal injury claim and maximize your payout, whether you settle with an insurance company or decide to pursue a lawsuit. Call (304) 345-6789 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.

Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit in West Virginia

The steps in a personal injury lawsuit vary, but most cases go through some variation of the following process.

1. Collect Documentation of Your Injuries and Related Harm

You will need evidence to substantiate your personal injury claim. Start the process by collecting as many documents as possible related to your injuries, including:

  • Witness testimony
  • Police reports
  • Medical records
  • Receipts for medical care or damages
  • Paystubs proving lost wages

If you haven’t sought medical attention for your injuries yet, do so as soon as possible. Though delayed symptoms are common among accident victims, a doctor may still be able to trace your symptoms back to the incident.

2. Find an Experienced Attorney

Even if you’re considering settling the issue directly with an insurance company, you benefit from having a lawyer on your side. Insurance companies have powerful legal teams working to protect their interests. You deserve the same.

At Warner Law Offices, we’re committed to leveling the playing field for our clients. We’re motivated by a sense of justice and fair play. As a full-service personal injury law firm with local roots, we understand how personal injury claims work in West Virginia. Our founder, Bobby Warner, grew up here and is deeply devoted to the community.

3. Prepare for Settlement Negotiations

Your attorney may recommend negotiating with the insurance company for a settlement, especially if your injury happened due to a car accident. The car accident settlement process is often quicker and less costly than a full-fledged trial, meaning you could walk away with more money in your pocket by settling.

The process involves sending a demand letter to insurers detailing your injuries, the at-fault party’s liability, and the compensation you are entitled to. The insurer may accept your terms or, more likely, make a counteroffer. Your lawyer can help you decide how to respond.

4. File a Lawsuit

If settlement negotiations stall or the at-fault insurer is unwilling to negotiate, the next step is filing a lawsuit. In most cases, lawsuits involve the following steps:

  • Discovery – Both parties exchange relevant evidence and information, including accident reports and medical records.
  • Deposition – Parties involved in the case may give out-of-court testimony under oath.
  • Pre-trial motions – Requests for the court to make decisions before trial, such as to exclude specific evidence or even dismiss the case.
  • Trial – Both sides present their arguments, and the judge or jury issues a verdict, including total damages due.

The experienced attorneys at Warner Law Offices will lead you through the process. We are here to provide top-tier legal representation in your hour of need.

How To Know if You Have a Personal Injury Claim

Not every personal injury warrants legal action. Most viable cases are based on negligence, the legal term for the failure to use reasonable care to avoid causing harm to others. For example, a reasonable person would put salt on an icy sidewalk in front of their business. If a patron falls on the unsalted sidewalk, they might have a personal injury claim against the business.

You can sue for negligence if the injury has caused you significant financial harm. You may have a case if you or a loved one:

  • Need expensive medical treatments
  • Require ongoing rehabilitation to recover
  • Missed work due to the injury
  • Developed a long-term or permanent handicap

If you suffered an injury because someone else failed to take reasonable care, contact the personal injury attorneys at Warner Law Offices. We can help you explore your legal rights and options. 

What Is the Time Limit For Filing a Personal Injury Claim in West Virginia?

You must file your claim before the statute of limitations expires. If you do not, you will most likely be barred from seeking compensation. This result will eliminate your right to seek full and fair compensation for your injuries and losses. In West Virginia, the personal injury statute of limitations is usually two years from the date of the incident. 

If you believe you have a viable personal injury claim, speak with a lawyer immediately. The at-fault party and their insurers benefit if you delay making a claim. They may even try to slow you down with prolonged investigations and inquiries. 

Our lawyers know how to protect our clients from these delay tactics. We will deploy our resources and expertise to even the playing field.

How Long Does a Personal Injury Lawsuit Take?

Lawsuits can be settled in a few months or take over a year to resolve, depending on their complexity. At Warner Law Offices, we work hard to move your case along quickly. You can rest assured that we will be by your side every step of the way, helping you avoid pitfalls that may compromise your case. You can trust our experienced attorneys to lead you through the process as smoothly and quickly as possible.

Navigating the Claims Process Successfully

Now that you understand how to file an injury claim, consider how you’ll approach the process. Staying in touch with your lawyer is tip number one. Your lawyer can help you avoid common mistakes people make when filing a personal injury lawsuit. Examples include:

  • Overlooking important evidence – A seemingly insignificant detail can make a big difference in your case. Tell us everything, and we’ll help you sort it out.
  • Underestimating your claim’s value – The value of your case probably goes beyond mere medical bills. Among other things, you might also qualify for noneconomic compensation related to your mental and physical suffering following the accident.
  • Missing filing deadlines – The legal claims process can be complex, but our experienced lawyers will help you stay on track. We will ensure that you do not miss the all-important filing deadline. 
  • Trying to handle your lawsuit alone – You need a strong legal team to maximize compensation in a personal injury lawsuit. We are here to fight for you.

If you’ve been through a car accident, workplace injury, or any other type of personal injury scenario, do not wait to seek legal help. We have the resources and legal expertise to make sure you leave no money on the table. 

Take Action With a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Warner Law Offices is here to help you with your claim. We’re a small firm, but we get big results. Reflecting our commitment to excellence, we were recognized among the Top 10 Personal Injury Attorneys by Best of the Best in 2024. 

We can help you understand your legal rights and file a personal injury claim. Call (304) 345-6789 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.

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Attorney Bobby Warner
Content Reviewed by:
Bobby Warner

Bobby has received many accolades throughout the years from both his peers in the legal community, as well as the media. The National Trial Lawyers association named Bobby a Top 100 Trial Lawyer and he has been selected as a Member of the Nation’s Top One Percent. Additionally, he has been named a Best Attorneys of America by Rue Ratings, which also named Warner Law Offices to its Best Law Firms of America.