When you’ve been hurt, the first thing to do is receive medical treatment. However, when you’ve been hurt in circumstances that someone else is to blame for, you may be able to pursue legal action. It can be a big hassle to file a lawsuit, but you can follow these tips regarding taking a personal injury case to court to make things easier.
1. Gather Evidence
You will need evidence in order to win your case. Immediately following your accident, gather evidence. Evidence includes:
- Pictures of the scene
- Witness statements
- Video/audio recording of the incident
- Medical documents
- Emails/messages from the defendant
- Expert statements
The more evidence you have, the better.
2. Shop Personal Injury Lawyers
As soon as you are medically cleared, consult with 2 – 5 personal injury lawyers in your area. During your consultation, you want to present your evidence along with any evidence the defense may have against you. The lawyer will provide insight as to whether they believe you have a case or not. Assuming all lawyers want to take the case, you will need to compare your options based on fees, experience, and compatibility to choose your lawyer. After you pick your lawyer, file your claim as soon as possible.
3. Speak and Behave Appropriately
Personal injury cases often fall apart based on statements made by the injured party. Limit discussion about the case until you clarify your statement with your attorney. Avoid speaking about the case outside of obligated statements, even when talking to friends and family members. Never write about the case on social media, in emails, or via text as those statements can come back to haunt you. Furthermore, behave appropriately throughout the case. For example, do not go rock climbing if you claim to experience severe back pain. Hostile interactions with the opposing party can also look bad, so stay cordial throughout the proceedings.
4. Stay Open to a Settlement
It costs significantly more to go to trial than to take a settlement for both parties. While you don’t want to take the first offer, stay open to secondary settlements presented to you based on your lawyer’s negotiating skills. It can keep your lawyer fees down and expedite your payout. You also won’t have to worry about losing the trial. While not ideal in all situations, a settlement can be a good option so don’t completely disregard the idea.
Your personal injury case should help make you whole again. However, many cases aren’t clear-cut. While your friends and family can help you recover from whatever caused you harm, a good lawyer is going to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.