Injuries are always stressful events that cause varying amounts suffering, lost time, and financial losses. While nothing can truly make up for those first two, you don’t necessarily need to add a financial burden on top of your stresses.
Particularly in a case where your injury was due to negligence by another party, you could be entitled to compensation to cover your medical fees, lost payments from work, and more. While insurance companies will typically advise that injury lawyers aren’t necessary, there are plenty of reasons to hire one for an injury case.
For one thing, the majority of injury lawyers work on a contingent basis,so there is very little risk involved. A lawyer also knows exactly what to say and what to avoid when speaking with insurance companies. This keeps the insurance companies from cherry picking statements to use against your claim. In successful cases, they are also likely to secure a bigger payout than you could on your own.
That said, it’s important not to leave all the work to the attorney, however. Being a proactive client will maximize your chances of success.
First and foremost, you want to make sure your medical records are consistent and updated. Naturally, you need to seek medical attention as soon as possible after your injury. Beyond the obvious importance for your recovery, this also helps prove that all injuries sustained were due to your accident. If you wait on this, the defendant may be able to damage your claim by saying that the injuries came from another source.
Getting quick treatment and following up with any additional appointments also helps you keep consistent medical records. This is of great importance to your case, because pointing out inconsistent records is one of the easiest ways to damage a claim. Be sure to follow any recommendations you’re given, and keep your doctor regularly updated on your progress.
There are a few things you can do before an initial consultation with an attorney that will help things progress more smoothly. First of all, you want to gather any possible evidence from the scene of the accident.
This should certainly include photographic evidence. Photos taken at the time of the accident are ideal, but if this isn’t possible, there are other options. At the very least, returning to the area and recording the layout can be helpful. This is especially true in traffic cases if you can photograph signs, streets, skid marks, or anything else that may give context to the event.
Additionally, you should bring any accident/police reports and contact information for doctors/witnesses. This information shows the attorney that you are serious about the case and willing to cooperate as much as possible, which should make them more willing to accept your case.
Once an attorney has taken on your case, you may think that your role is essentially complete. This isn’t really true, however. It’s still important that you keep up communication with your lawyer about any possible developments in the case. At the very least, you want to keep them updated on your recovery. The extent of your injuries and recovery time are important factors in your case and settlement.
You also want to update your lawyer if you’re contacted by any outside sources regarding your case. These will most likely be insurance companies, and you should refer them to your lawyer for any questions. No case is a guaranteed success, but covering your bases in the beginning and maintaining communication with your lawyer will give you the best chances.