Do you think that you have a personal injury case? Don’t let the negative stereotypes of ambulance chasers and schemers keep you from investigating your options. If a party is responsible for some sort of compensation, there are always steps you can take to make a stronger case for yourself in a court of law.
Write Down Everything
If you have been involved in an accident and someone is at fault, the first thing you should do is write down absolutely everything you remember. Also, you should document how the accident has affected your daily life. This documentation is important when you meet with an attorney to determine if you have a case or not. For instance, how has the accident changed you physically, emotionally and financially? You’ll essentially be presenting this information in court, so the more details you can provide about the accident and its repercussions, the better.
Additionally, you’ll want to preserve any evidence that may be left over from the accident. Be sure to obtain and keep all medical records as well. The more documentation you can provide the court, the stronger your case will be.
So what exactly can you be reimbursed for? Well, sometimes injuries have more lasting impacts than your physical ailments. Your settlement can include loss of enjoyment, pain and suffering, income losses, emotional distress, medical bills and more. Each case will be different, but this is why it’s important to document changes in your life. Keep in mind that pain and suffering can be physical, mental, emotional and even spiritual. This can be very difficult to calculate or document, but the counsel of an experienced attorney will likely be helpful when formulating your claim.
Search for an Attorney
When you begin your search for the right attorney, make sure that you are talking to reputable and experienced lawyers. Past court rulings are open to the public, so do your research and learn as much as you can about your potential attorney. You’ll want to make sure that you’re investing your money in the best hands possible for the case. Try not to be influenced or deceived by claims that seem too good to be true.
Prepare for Rejection
Also, you should emotionally and mentally prepare yourself to be rejected by a potential attorney. Many personal injury lawyers will only take on cases that see as strong and winning. Make sure you are completely honest with your potential attorney in meetings, which will help them gain an understanding of how strong the case is. If you have the proper documentation, your attorney should be able to give you a realistic estimate of your settlement.
In addition to referrals from friends, take referrals from other attorneys as well. Many in your region will have a good understanding of the attorney who is best fit for your case. Also, look into referrals from the Bar association of your state. You will want an attorney whose philosophy and attitude matches yours. Do you want your attorney to be more aggressive? How often will you expect your attorney to call you with updates? This is your chance to interview them.
Questions to Ask
When meeting with a potential attorney, it’s important that you ask how long they have been in practice and how much experience they have with personal injury. It’s also important to make sure that the attorney you meet will be the one on the case. Avoid large firms where the case can be passed on to less experienced attorneys.
If you have experienced a personal injury, don’t let embarrassment or fear hold you back from investigating whether or not you are entitled to some sort of monetary compensation. Though the topic may be painful, you may be preventing someone else from being put in the same painful situation as you. Make sure to do your research before hiring a lawyer to ensure you will be taken care of.
Written by Kellie Bertels, an attorney with the firm Bandré, Hunt & Snider, LLC where they are the leading personal injury attorneys in Jefferson City, MO.