A personal injury case can begin the moment after you are injured. Preparing for eventual legal action requires you to become aware of every detail. What you say and what you do in the minutes, hours and days following an injury can have a profound impact on your ability to prevail in any potential legal action.
Do Your Research
The first step is to become educated and informed. There are many resources available. Among them is Nolo Press, based in Berkeley, California. Nolo publishes self-help legal information booklets on a variety of subjects from real estate to business law. One of their most popular is How to Win Your Personal Injury Claim by Joseph Matthews. The information in this book is geared for those who view legal action as a last resort, but who want to be prepared for any eventuality. You can even check the Nolo website for condensed legal information.
Secondly, and likely as valuable as Nolo’s books, is your local bar association. Not only can the bar association provide an attorney referral, but they can be a source of detailed and precise advice on what steps to take to make sure your rights are protected. Many bar associations devote considerable resources to community outreach. These initiatives include pro-bono (free) legal work, but they also include general legal advice applicable to many different kinds of cases and recommendations for injured parties who ultimately may not need the services of an attorney.
Consider Pushing for a Settlement
Third, it should be well understood that insurance companies, potential defendants and the legal system all prefer cases be settled before they get to court. In the long run, litigation is far more expensive than reasoned and equitable settlement of a claim. Obtaining compensation is more important than being able to say you “won” a case. However, in some cases, litigation is necessary. Whether you need a truck accident lawyer in Denver or a medical malpractice case in California, be sure to weigh the costs of litigation versus the settlement amount on the table.
When hiring an attorney, take advantage of their free consultations. Make sure the attorney is engaged in your case and make doubly sure they are asking pertinent questions. The fastest road to a dismissal or judgment for the defendant is a disinterested plaintiff’s attorney. Once retained, even on a contingency basis, an attorney has a legal obligation to be a “zealous” advocate for their client. Make sure your attorney takes the necessary steps to qualify for that description.
Your most important task is to recognize you need assistance and to do what is necessary to obtain it as quickly as possible. Every day that goes by without progress can negatively affect your case. Be sure you don’t abandon your rights with inaction.
Information Source: ColoradoLaw.Net
About the author: A recent college graduate from University of San Francisco, Anica Oaks loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.