When you are harmed by another, taking legal action may only be the recourse of last resort. Often, accident victims are left with unpaid medical bills, delayed claims, ignored phone calls, and other deterrents to getting compensated. You don't have to put up with anything that stands in your way of being paid. There are several routes you can take when it comes to taking legal action, so read on to find out more.
What to Know About Small Claims Court
Before you make the small claims court decision, it's vital that you know how much you are owed. This dollar figure is important for two reasons:
- You can only receive a certain amount of compensation by going this route since each state sets relatively small dollar amount limits on the judgments.
- You may be leaving money on the table if you use a small claims court instead of seeking a personal injury claim.
As long as the amount you need for your damages is in line with what is allowed in small claims court, there are benefits to this way of getting paid. In most cases, your case is heard faster than with other cases and you may not need to be represented by an attorney.
Know What You Are Owed
When an accident occurs, many accident victims don't fully realize what sort of things for which they are entitled to be paid. Be sure to make a list of the dollar amounts of the following so that you can make better legal and financial decisions:
- Medical expenses – You should not have to pay any part of any treatment you receive for an accident-related issue. That includes doctor's care, hospitalizations, surgery, physical therapy, mental health therapy, and more.
- Personal property losses – This includes possessions like clothing, laptops, child car seats, vehicles, handbags, and more.
- Lost wages – All time missed from your job should be paid back to you.
- Pain and suffering – If your injuries were so severe that you are likely to be miserable for some time, you might be owed this form of money damage.
What to Know About Civil Court Cases
For claims that are too large for small claims court, you will definitely need legal representation. An attorney can take a look at your list of damages, the evidence in the case, and the circumstances of the accident and deal with the case on your behalf. You should understand that your case may never actually come to trial since most cases are settled outside of court. It's vital to take this course of action if you were severely injured or your case is more complex. Speak to a car accident attorney as soon as possible.