Stages of a Personal Injury Claim – Information Gathering and Sending a Notice Letter
In a previous post, we discussed the process of hiring a lawyer, and the importance of finding someone with experience handling personal injury cases to ensure that your interests are protected. Once you have retained a personal injury lawyer, they will carefully review all of the facts of your case and identify the information needed to support your claim, and send a notice letter to begin the process.
Understanding the information gathering process
If you have been injured, your lawyer will need to understand how this has impacted your life. They may ask you to sign documents that authorize them to obtain records from any doctor or other specialist that treated you for your injuries. They may also ask for any photographs, notes and other records you have about what happened.
It is critical for your lawyer to have complete information. Everything you say to your lawyer is protected by solicitor-client privilege, which means that they will not discuss or share the non-public details of your case with anyone. The information gathered during this stage is not necessarily going to be used as evidence in your case, but helps your lawyer build the best possible case on your behalf.
Giving notice of your claim through a notice letter
Once your case has been carefully assessed, a notice letter will be sent to the individual or parties that may be responsible for your injuries. This letter sets out the basic details of the accident, including date, time and location, as well as your particular injuries. In the majority of cases, this letter will be forwarded by those parties to their insurance company, which will respond to you on their behalf.
Although every insurance company may respond differently, most will respond with a “reservation of rights” letter. This will generally state that they are investigating the claim as detailed in the notice letter, and are not admitting any liability on the part of their insured.
The insurance company’s investigation
After receiving a notice letter detailing your potential claim, most companies will then assign an insurance adjuster to complete an investigation to determine whether their insured is responsible, and the extent of your injuries. This adjuster may attempt to contact you to conduct an interview, and request copies of your documents and other information.
Before communicating with the other party’s insurer, you should consult with a personal injury lawyer that handles claims against insurance companies. The adjuster may ask you to provide a signed statement, or grant them authorizations to access your personal medical records and other private information. At Derfel Injury Law, we have many years of experience representing injured claimants and responding to insurance adjusters on their behalf. We can ensure that you do not take any steps that may limit or otherwise impact your right to recovery.
Professional, compassionate legal advice for personal injury claimants
After the adjuster has completed their investigation, the insurance company will either deny your claim outright, or request that you make an offer to settle the claim. At this point, it is essential that you consult with a lawyer who has experience negotiating with insurance companies, and can help you obtain the best possible resolution.
At Derfel Injury Law, our team has extensive experience working with injured victims to recover damages from insurers, and can help successfully negotiate your claim. Contact us online or call 416-847-3580 to make an appointment with one of our skilled personal injury lawyers. We can meet clients at convenient locations in Toronto.