A personal injury case can be one of the most stressful experiences in a person’s life. Personal injury cases are often the result of negligence on behalf of the defendant that leads to the plaintiff becoming injured. Not only are you suffering from what is likely a traumatic injury, but you also have to deal with the process of a lawsuit. Although it can be stressful to prepare for a personal injury case, it’s important to be as thorough and careful as possible every step of the way.
1. Understand the aspects of a personal injury case.
Some of the most common personal injuries include car accidents or slip and fall cases. Before starting an injury claim, you should understand the aspects of an injury claim in order to determine whether your situation is suitable for a case. If the accident victim is able to identify that negligence was the cause of the injury, then a suitable case can be brought. An accident victim can determine whether the defendant was negligent if they can establish that the accident was caused as a result of the defendant’s careless and dangerous behavior. For example, an accident victim will have a successful personal injury claim in the event of a car accident if they can prove that the accident would not have happened but for the defendant’s careless driving.
Regardless of whether the accident victim does have a viable personal injury claim, if they don’t bring the case within the statute of limitations, the case will be unable to be tried. The statute of limitations is the time period during which a case can be brought. In a personal injury case, the time limit typically begins once the injury takes place. Most statutes of limitations have a two-year time period; however, this can vary based on the circumstances surrounding the case as well as the jurisdiction.
2. Collect your medical records.
Since a personal injury case stems from an injury received in some kind of accident, there are likely going to be medical records pertaining to the injury. In order to bring a personal injury claim to court, you must be able to provide your personal injury lawyer and insurance company with your medical records. Not only will you need to obtain the medical records that are specifically related to the injury, but you’ll also probably need to obtain previous medical records that you have in your file so that your personal injury claim can be assessed to its full extent. For some plaintiffs who suffer a serious injury that is worsened by previously existing medical conditions or can lead to a future of suffering, these medical records are crucial in achieving fair compensation in both compensatory damages and punitive damages. In addition to medical records, it’s also in your best interest to obtain any medical bills or other medical expenses that you’ve incurred as a result of the injury.
While the initial injury records are essential to a personal injury case, it’s also important to continue to collect your medical records from follow-up appointments that take place. These follow-up appointments will help determine your compensatory damages, as your attorney will be able to evaluate how the injury has impacted your life, including whether you suffer from a loss of enjoyment of life as a result of the accident.
3. Collect any accident records.
Accident reports are just as important as medical records, as they allow the injury attorney and insurance company to assess the accident rather than rely on your own recollection of the situation. For example, if a car accident is a reason for your personal injury claim, then it’s really beneficial to have your attorney review these records, as they’ll be able to better determine whether the motor vehicle collision was the result of the defendant’s negligence or another factor. The ability to review these records will allow the attorneys involved to come to a more accurate verdict and ultimately a fair compensation for the injured party. Records such as police reports or any photographs of the scene of the accident will be beneficial to the injury case.
Physicians and health care providers are typically compliant when a law firm requests medical records through the duration of the case. However, it’s beneficial to provide as many records as you can, as the sensitive information within these records requires them to be sent through the mail as opposed to email, which can be quite time-consuming.
4. Contact your insurance company.
You’ll want to notify your insurance company of the auto accident right away, as they will be a crucial aspect of your personal injury lawsuit and will ultimately impact the amount of compensation you are capable of receiving. Insurance companies typically provide the victim of an accident with the contact information of various personal injury law firms that they work within injury cases. Your insurance adjuster will be quite involved throughout the legal process in order to ensure that you will receive proper monetary compensation that will cover your insurance fees and medical expenses.
5. Contact a personal injury attorney.
Once you’ve filed your personal injury claim with your insurance company, you’ll have to contact a personal injury attorney to provide you with legal advice and handle your lawsuit. Personal injury attorneys will likely have a wide range of legal experience within their personal injury practice area, including wrongful death, car accident victims, and more. Whether you need a personal injury lawyer in Raleigh North Carolina or elsewhere in the United States, it’s important to find an attorney who cares about the injured clients and prepares a strong attorney-client relationship.
Before retaining a personal injury lawyer, they’ll assess your situation to determine whether you have a viable case. During your initial legal consultation, the attorney will provide personal attention to the records you bring them, so they can determine whether you’ll have a successful case.
You’ll also need to discuss the attorney fees, as they can have an impact on your final insurance fees. Attorney fees in a personal injury case typically consist of a contingency fee, which means that the attorney will be paid out from a portion of the final settlement fee. Most personal injury attorneys will receive approximately 30% of the settlement, so the accident victim won’t have to worry about payments until the case has been settled. It’s also important to understand that, in addition to the attorney fees, the accident victim will also have to pay medical expenses and insurance fees upon the settlement of the lawsuit, which is why you want to make sure you retain an attorney who will make sure you receive the highest possible settlement.
6. Prepare for your lawsuit.
Once you’ve established all of the essential aspects of bringing a personal injury lawsuit, it’s important to prepare yourself on a personal level. Since you’ll likely be obligated to participate in depositions, and potentially trial, it will be in your best interest to invest in some professional clothing, including dresses, women jackets, or suits for men.
Additionally, if you’re concerned about the defendant’s whereabouts during the duration of the case, it’s also possible for you to search if someone is in jail in order to see how they have been punished for their negligence. Overall, despite the stress that may come with a personal injury case, you will feel much more comfortable throughout the entire lawsuit if you take the proper steps in preparation. In the end, you will likely be satisfied with the result of the case as you should receive fair compensation for your damages, and the defendant will probably be liable for their negligence.