Accidents can happen anywhere and to anyone. Car accidents, slip-and-falls, construction accidents and more all fall under the umbrella of personal injury. Any time that you suffer an injury because of someone else’s negligence, you may have a personal injury claim.

If you’ve experienced damages due to the reckless action of an institution or individual, how do you begin your personal injury claim?

Check Your Insurance

There are some cases where you may forego a personal injury lawsuit and use your own insurance coverage to pay for medical costs and other damages. For example, if you were in a car accident with a driver who had no insurance and few assets, filing a claim may be worthless. You may win the lawsuit, but you may be unable to collect money from the person. If he or she does not have the funds to spare, you won’t recover damages. In these cases, it is better to see if your policy will cover your injuries.

Visit an Attorney’s Office

Once you decide that you are going to file a personal injury lawsuit, research personal injury lawyers in your area. At your consultation with a lawyer, he or she will be able to assess your case and determine whether you have a valid claim. Most attorneys offer a free consultation. Then, if you choose to hire him or her, you would not have to pay until you receive your settlement. Your agreement with the lawyer will usually include 30% of your compensation going towards the lawyer’s services.

File the Lawsuit

If the lawyer takes your case, he or she will help you to file the lawsuit. If the other party has insurance, you would send a notice of claim to the insurer. This is a notification letter, along with the date of the accident and your information. This is where you declare that you wish to pursue a personal injury claim. After this, the insurance company could choose to settle or you may go to trial. At this juncture, it is best to lean on your lawyer for assistance. He or she can help you determine whether to settle or to take the case to court.

If you’ve been injured because of someone else’s reckless actions, then you may deserve compensation. If you plan to file a personal injury claim, consult with a personal injury lawyer in Rapid City, SD, like from The Law Office of Clayborne, Loos & Sabers, LLP, as soon as possible. He or she can help guide you through the steps to ensure that your claim is valid.