Everything You Need to Know to Win Your Personal Injury Lawsuit
An accident is scary. Car crashes, work accidents, someone else's negligence - none of it is your fault. Fault or not, it can change your life dramatically.
Get a sense of control back, at least financially, with a personal injury lawsuit. Even if you don't press charges, you can get compensation for medical costs, your lost time, and suffering.
That is if you win. A good attorney is the best way to win your personal injury lawsuit. The tips below won't hurt either.
How to Win Your Personal Injury Lawsuit
Every case is different and no list of tips will assure you get the settlement you deserve. However, you can put your best foot forward in a trial or settlement proceeding with the tips below.
1. Seek Medical Attention
Even if you don't feel hurt, you need to see a doctor. They can examine you for small fractures, subtle injuries or changes in alignment.
This examination is crucial if symptoms arise after the accident. If you don't get examined after the event, you can't prove correlation.
If you do get hurt, this assessment appointment determines the rest of your treatment.
2. Communicate Any and All Symptoms
This goes along with point number one. There are innumerable ways you can get hurt by an accident. Tingling, strange sensations, or even a sense that something isn't right are all relevant.
Keep a symptoms journal or list on your phone. Note anything out of the ordinary. Your healthcare provider would rather tell you something isn't a big deal than miss a symptom.
Do your best to describe the pain to your doctor. Is it an ache? Or a sharp shooting pain? Your doctor needs to know.
A doctor will never laugh at you or think you're being dramatic for being cautious with your health! This journal will serve as good evidence in your legal case as well.
3. Keep Your Attorney In The Loop
Your lawyer doesn't need to know every time you go to the doctor, what tests they run, and how the service was. They do need to know the route of treatment, estimated costs, and how long your injury will affect your life.
After your initial examination, you should give your attorney a full report of your medical condition. If anything gets worse or they find further complications, they need to know.
4. Open a Tab
Most of us are lucky enough to have health insurance that covers appointments after an accident. However, co-pays and the days you have to take off work can add up.
Keep a notebook (and the billing statements) of how much your accident-related medical treatments cost you.
This will help you determine your ask of the party at fault. It'll make things easy on their insurance agent, their lawyer, and yours!
5. Take Pictures
Photograph your injury! There's a reason police take pictures when people are abused, it gives the court evidence.
Try to take pictures at as many angles as possible. Take pictures of the injuries as they heal. Keep these in a folder with copies of your x-rays or any other medical imaging.
6. Keep a Folder
This may seem self-explanatory, but the stress of your accident can make you overwhelmed. To make sure you have everything you need, keep all papers, receipts, and paperwork in one folder or bag.
If you get a bill or a letter about your injuries, it goes in the folder. Same with all of your legal paperwork. Keep the bag at home and in a safe place. If you want to go the extra mile, make a list of everything in the folder.
That way if your attorney asks for something, you'll know if you have it or need a copy!
7. Keep Time in Mind
Every state as a legal time deadline for filing a claim. You can't have an accident in 2013 and file for damages in 2015. Each state's laws are different, but it's normally around a year.
There is a clause, in some states, called the "discovery rule" that gets around that. If you had an accident in 2013 and didn't discover health issues until 2015, you can file for this extension.
Your doctor will need to agree that the accident was the probable source and you'll need to talk about it with a lawyer.
8. Pick the Right Attorney
This is the most important part of this list, other than seeing a doctor immediately. You need to pick a lawyer who has a record of helping people in personal injury cases.
Don't trust tv ads or things you hear on the radio, the best proof of their success? In the pudding or the history of their cases, in this case.
When you meet with them to see if they're a good fit, ask about the recent cases they're proud of. What was the last case they lost? What percentage of the initial ask do their clients settle with?
An honest, kind, and reputable lawyer will answer all of these questions. If you have a current attorney, ask them for a recommendation. You want a specialist, for a personal injury case, not someone who will "figure it out".
Lastly, make sure you like them. You don't have to be best friends with your attorney, but you should like their company.
The Trial or Mediation
No matter what happens with your case, keep a calm head. Nothing comes from getting upset and making rash decisions or statements. If you're nervous about the process, your attorney can walk you through what to expect.
The best way to win your personal injury lawsuit is to get medical help, stay organized, and work with someone you trust.
Everything else is up to the judge.
Speaking of judges, our attorneys work with them frequently to get the right settlement in a personal injury case. Learn more about our firm here, then set up a consultation today.
This site is intended to provide general information about our firm. You should never assume the specific or general information applies to your case without first consulting with an experienced attorney. Sending an e-mail or requesting an initial consultation does not create an attorney-client relationship. Visitors to this site are encouraged to contact a lawyer directly for specific advice.
If your claim(s) are not timely filed you may be prevented from pursuing your claim. If you have already filed your claim, and you do not actively pursue your claim(s) it may be dismissed.