Millions of people of all ages across the United States participate in a wide range of sports. Many of these individuals are involved in one or more types of sports leagues. Some of the most popular are football, basketball, baseball, and lacrosse.
If you are a participant in say a sports league or lacrosse camps athletes favor and have sustained an injury while playing, you may have some questions about compensation for your medical costs. Specifically, you might want to know how to file a personal injury claim against a party you believe was responsible for the accident which caused your injuries.
It’s important to understand your legal rights before you begin pursuing a personal injury claim. This includes understanding the potential benefits of working with a skilled and experienced personal injury lawyer.
Preparation for Filing a Claim with an Insurance Company
Before you submit a claim to the appropriate insurance company, there are crucial steps that must be taken.
- You should make every effort to appropriately document the accident scene and your injuries. Documenting the accident scene ideally includes taking photos or making a video of the accident itself. For example, if you were injured playing league basketball, you should photograph or make a video of the area of the court in which the accident occurred, including any defects in the court surface that may have contributed to the accident. In addition, you should obtain images of the injuries you sustained.
- You also need to obtain the names and contact information for any witnesses of the accident. If possible, obtain a concise statement from any witness to the accident. Have them date and sign the statement.
- Before filing a claim for damages, you need to obtain a thorough evaluation of your injuries from a reputable healthcare provider. For health reasons, it’s important to get medical care and treatment for your sports league-related accident. For your accident claim, it’s important to get written documentation of that care from your attending physician. Be sure the documentation specifies the nature and extent of your injuries.
Taking on an Insurance Company
One you complete the preliminary steps associated with pursuing a claim for damages, you are in a position to file an actual claim for damages or compensation with an insurance company. You need to make sure you are aware of any claim filing deadlines established by the insurance company, within the insurance policy, and state laws.
- The insurance company will require you to fill out a claim form that they will supply to you. Take extreme care in completing the claim form. If you work with a personal injury lawyer, they should review the form for errors and omissions.
- The insurance company will likely want to interview you, typically very soon after the accident. The goal of the insurance company will be to try to elicit statements from you that result in limiting your compensation, or denying your claim.
The manner in which insurance companies deal with claims and injured people underscores the benefits of immediately after the accident retaining legal counsel. Very often, the presence of legal counsel increases the odds of a fair and comprehensive settlement.
At your request, a personal injury attorney can schedule an initial consultation with you. During that consultation, you can obtain a thorough evaluation of your case. If the lawyer agrees to take your case, the evaluation might include an analysis of possible strategies intended to optimize potential compensation in your case.