If you are preparing to file a personal injury claim, you have work to do even before you start gathering evidence. A critical task is to notify the parties involved in the incident that you will soon file a personal injury lawsuit. At this point, it is worth clarifying that at this point you may not know who is the guilty party. Here’s what you should do to notify parties in a personal injury case in New York:
Figure out who to notify.
Different groups of people may be involved in a case of negligence. For instance, in a case of nursing home abuse, the nurses, the physicians and their respective teams of interns, the administrator and the management of the medical establishment where the incident had occurred should be notified. In case of a vehicle accident, you should notify the drivers of the vehicles that were involved, the owners, the employers of the drivers if one or more vehicles were on company duty, and the pedestrians, if any, who were involved in the accident.
In case of a slip-and-fall accident, you have to notify both the owner of the business establishment that is housed within the property and the owner of the premises.
Of course, in every case, you should also inform your insurance company.
Prepare the notification letters.
Do not worry; you don’t have to collect forms or make the rounds of courts to prepare notification letters. Type out a simple letter that states the time and place of the accident or incident and mentions that you were injured or have incurred some other kind of loss and want to file a personal injury claim. Do NOT mention any of the following pieces of information:
- The guilty party in the incident even if you know who it is
- The extent of your injuries even if you have the medical records in hand
- The amount of compensation you wish to claim
Send out the letter to everybody who was involved directly or indirectly with the incident, even if the other person assures you that he will notify his insurer. Insist on an acknowledgment mail.
Shoot them out.
Although there are no statutes of limitation specifying by when to send out the notification letters, it is a wise idea to shoot them out as soon as you can after the accident. Attorneys advise that you send out these letters within a few weeks of the accident. If you are incapacitated in any way—recuperating at the hospital or battling some form of disability—ask a friend or a relative to carry out the tasks on your behalf.
There is, however, a time limit for notifying government agencies or personnel working with the government. Your personal injury attorney can help you in this matter.
Remember, it is not mandatory that you file claims against everyone whom you have notified. But it is always an astute idea to notify the parties in a personal injury case in New York, so that when you eventually file the lawsuit, no one can accuse you of unjustly upsetting them.