Critical Steps to Follow for a Successful Personal Injury Case
Any kind of injury is terrible, but it can feel especially devastating when it happens unexpectedly and for no fault of your own. Moreover, if you are injured due to someone else negligence or malfeasance, it can take on an additional dimension causing all manner of stress and expenses you probably don't want to deal with. This is why the US, along with other developed nations, has a well-developed civil law system that enables victims to seek recompense to help them heal without having to pay for things out of pocket and potentially fall into debt. Nonetheless, while support is available, not everyone knows what steps they must take or where they can seek help and advice. This post explores some of the critical things anyone involved in an accident should do so they can get their fair share of justice.
Contact A Lawyer Specializing In Personal Injury Cases
Aside from ensuring you have received the proper medical attention (more on that in the next point), it's imperative to seek out an attorney dedicated to your specific case. However, when you decide to pursue your personal injury case, you must understand that different lawyers exist for different cases. For example, personal injury is such a broad term that it can encompass medical malpractice, to accidents occurring in government buildings, etc. The key to success is to choose an attorney or law firm capable of dealing with your specific case. Fortunately, because most law firms are adept at dealing with those unfamiliar with the law, many will offer a free consultation where you can discuss your case with the pros. This serves two purposes:
- It allows them to assess whether you have a case or not (thus saving you time and resources if not)
- It gives you a chance to ask questions pertaining to your case and what to expect
Ensure You Receive The Best Medical Care Possible
This step is second on the list purely because, in some cases, you might find yourself receiving better care when you have a lawyer on your side. It might sound at first, but most insurance companies simply don't want to pay out if your injuries come about due to another person's negligence or will make it challenging every step of the way. Once you have a lawyer on board, you'll discover them treading far more carefully and offering to get you back on your feet without worrying about the cost. You should still get the best care possible and adhere to your doctor's orders whether or not you are being assisted by a professional. You may find that the court views your failure to recognize an injury that manifests later or to follow your care instructions unfavorably, leaving you responsible for any resulting costs.
Gather Evidence And Documentation You Can Use When Your Case Goes To Court
Evidence is key to any successful court case, and personal injury is no different. Without the correct information, a judge will be unable to conclude what happened and, therefore, what you might be owed. Although your attorney will assist you after you've hired them, you may still need to acquire the vast majority of evidence yourself. This might include witness statements after the fact, photos of the accident, or anything pertinent to the case.
Obtain The Services Of An Expert Witness If Necessary
Some more complex personal injury cases might require the help of what is known as an expert witness. It's essential to work with your attorney to identify the areas where an expert witness can provide valuable testimony and to select the right expert for your case carefully. Choose someone who has a strong reputation in their field and who can clearly explain complex concepts to a layperson. With the right expert witness on your side, you can significantly increase your chances of a successful outcome in your personal injury case. Moreover, it's worth pointing out that in courts, only an expert witness is permitted to offer an opinion based on their expertise which could be the deciding factor in your case.
Track All Medical Records And Bills So The Court Will Know What Compensation To Award
The court cannot render a fair verdict on your injury claim if they are unaware of the financial toll it has taken on your life. The only way they will ever be able to rule on your case is if they can provide official documentation concerning your costs. In practice, this relates to medical bills (likely the lion's share of your expense), property damage, and other bills associated with your injury, such as travel to and from your doctor, etc.
Keep A Record Of All Lost Wages Due To The Injury
This point follows on from the last but requires its own dedicated paragraph because it's related to lost earnings rather than outright costs. The law says you are entitled to any lost wages due to your injury so that you are able to continue living as you might have before the accident. Fortunately, this is far simpler than calculating costs because, in most cases, you will have previous pay slips you can present as evidence.
Contact The Entity You Are Suing To Negotiate A Settlement If Possible
This final step should only be undertaken with the expert advice of your attorney. In other words, never attempt to negotiate a settlement by yourself. Nonetheless, it might be conducive to speak with the other party and see if you can come to an amicable agreement before heading to court. Not only will this expedite the compensation process, but it will also remove the emotional toll of having to appear in court on set dates.
Being injured is the last thing that any of us want, but life being as it is can sometimes throw us a curveball. Nevertheless, if you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, there are steps you can follow which will help to reduce the burden and hopefully alleviate your costs and keep your finances in the black as you recover.