How to Prepare for Your Personal Injury Case
When you are hurt in an accident because of the negligence of another person or entity, you need to prepare for an insurance claim or lawsuit. You are going to have to put in some effort to obtain fair compensation. It will not be enough to claim the other person was negligent. It will not be enough to say you have been hurt. You are going to need to prove the other party’s negligence caused your injuries, as well as your economic and non-economic damages. To improve your chance of obtaining an appropriate settlement or verdict, we recommend preparing for your personal injury case immediately by hiring a personal injury lawyer to represent you through the process and road to recovery. Having an attorney on your side improves the likelihood of getting a fair settlement and maximizing your financial recovery.
Preparing for Your Personal Injury Case
When you have been hurt in an accident caused by someone else, we recommend you:
See a doctor right away.
If you are injured, you should always obtain medical care as soon as possible after an accident. By waiting to go to the emergency room or a doctor’s office, your condition could worsen. Additionally, this delay could be used against you by the at-fault party or their insurer. They may claim that since you could wait for help, you must not have been seriously hurt.
After seeing a doctor, you need to follow their orders. If they say you’re on bed rest, then you’re in bed. If they say you have to get up and exercise, then force yourself up. It is your responsibility to not make your injuries any worse. If you do not abide by the doctor’s treatment plan, the insurer could argue that you failed to mitigate your injuries and don’t deserve the compensation you ask for.
Also, keep track of the doctors you see. Take notes of what they say about your condition. You can also request copies of your doctor’s records to keep track of your injuries.
Write down what happened.
Everyone’s memory fades over time and can get jumbled. To help keep your memory clear and fresh, write down notes about the accident as soon as you can. If you can’t write or take notes on your phone yourself, ask a family member or friend to do so. You can even utilize the voice recorder on a phone. Make notes about where you were, the date and time, and various environmental conditions. If you were outside, what was the weather like? Were there people around? Did you see, hear, smell, or feel something right before the incident?
Do not speak to an insurer.
Your own insurance company or the insurance company of the responsible party may contact you. You should not speak with them. Instead, allow your personal injury lawyer to communicate with the insurance companies on your behalf. The insurance companies will record your statements and even something you mention innocently could be used to devalue or deny your claim.
Keep your receipts.
One of the hardest parts of being hurt in an accident is the cost. You are going to get hit with medical bills. You may have unusual travel expenses related to obtaining the medical care you need. You and your family may have to buy medical devices when you go home from the hospital, such as crutches, a wheelchair, and a shower chair. You may have expensive prescriptions to pick up. Make sure that you and your family members keep all of your receipts for expenses related to the accident, so you can fight for compensation.
Record how the accident affects your life.
The consequences of a serious accident will ripple throughout your life. It is more than a physical injury. Your pain and inability to lead your normal life can lead to depression. Your relationship with your spouse and children may suffer. Your quality of life may be diminished, particularly if you are suffering from a permanent disability or disfigurement. All of these factors matter to your claim. However, proving them can be difficult. The more you document how your injuries have negatively impacted your life, the better. You may want to keep a daily journal or see a counselor.
Learn about the personal injury claim process.
You may be relying on an insurance company to compensate you for your injuries. This is normal, and most personal injury cases are settled out of court. That being said, some personal injury claims need to head to court. Your attorney may need to utilize the discovery process during a lawsuit to gather additional evidence. Filing a lawsuit also shows an insurer you are serious about obtaining fair compensation. It puts pressure on the insurer to negotiate an appropriate settlement to avoid trial.
Call a Personal Injury Lawyer for Help
There is a lot you can do to prepare for a personal injury claim, whether or not it has to go to court. Yet, the best way to prepare is to call an experienced and skilled personal injury attorney. Our legal team at Randall & Stump, PLLC is ready to take on your case. We will handle all communication with an insurer, conduct an in-depth investigate, and gather and analyze evidence on your behalf. We will work closely with you, your doctors, and experts to calculate the full value of your claim. Then, we will aggressively pursue the maximum amount of compensation possible.