If you have received injuries due to the negligence of someone else, the financial burden of the extra medical bills, time off work, and other physical and emotional damages can be overwhelming. When you find yourself unable to afford the associated expenses, a personal injury lawsuit can be a saving grace – a way to hold the other party accountable for the financial damages accrued. Deciding to pursue a personal injury lawsuit, however, is just the beginning of the process.
Personal injury proceedings are a complex set of legal actions that can drastically impact your life. As such, there are often a number of hurdles to be overcome, both before, during, and after the hearing. While your personal injury attorney will handle the most complicated ins and outs of your case, there are some things you can do to prepare.
Preparing for Your Lawsuit
Adequate preparation will not only help your legal proceedings go smoothly but can provide you with some peace of mind during the process. Here are some ways you can prepare for your upcoming personal injury lawsuit:
- Seek medical attention. Immediately after your injury, it is extremely important to seek care. Not only does this enable your doctor to begin treating your injury right away, but you will also receive proper documentation of your injury. This information will become useful during your personal injury lawsuit – it will serve as evidence your injury exists and document all the damages you incurred from the beginning. Medical treatment will remain crucial throughout your lawsuit. Most likely, your doctor will establish an ongoing treatment plan for your recovery. Attendance at each follow-up appointment is essential to protect your claim. Failing to continue treatment could lead to the defendant’s attorney attempting to call your injuries into question. For this reason, it is important to consult with your doctor immediately and ensure you are following each of the steps necessary for recovery as you prepare for your lawsuit.
- Ask questions regarding your case. Aside from documenting your injuries, the single most important thing you can do to prepare for your legal proceedings is to stay informed about the associated happenings. Asking your attorney what to expect before, during, and after each stage of your case will not only serve to give you peace of mind, but it will also help you ensure you are doing all you can to help your own case. In particular, you will need to know when the essential paperwork is due, as well as how to answer some of the questions the defendant’s attorney may have. In addition, your attorney can tell you what you need to know when communicating with the insurance company. Generally speaking, it is to your benefit to stay abreast of each phase of your case as the proceedings continue.
- Provide all the essential evidence. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your injury, you likely possess several pieces of evidence that document either the situation, the injury itself, or both. For example, in the case of a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you likely have a police report, insurance documents, photographs of your vehicle, the other party’s insurance information, medical records, and more. Use the time before your personal injury lawsuit commences to gather this evidence. In addition, it is important to note the statute of limitations for a personal injury lawsuit. In California, you have two years from the date of your injury to file a personal injury lawsuit. As a result, it is important to speak with an attorney and offer your documentation well ahead of this date.
- Avoid damaging your case. Finally, one of the most often-forgotten preparation steps is usually one of the simplest – avoid actions that can potentially harm your case. Even if you have solid proof the other party was responsible for your injuries and a clear claim for financial damages, taking certain actions could limit your claim. Worse, if the other party has a skilled attorney, they may even dismiss your claim entirely. For example, statements you make on social media could be used against you during your case. Similarly, photographs that may be taken out of context and used to show you performing actions a person with your injuries may not be able to perform could be used to prove you aren’t injured. In general, be cautious with how you present yourself in public while awaiting your personal injury lawsuit.
If you have suffered injuries resulting from someone else’s carelessness, you need professional legal representation to maximize your chances of compensation for your damages. Consulting with a Folsom personal injury lawyer and taking the above steps to prepare for your case will ensure you have done all you can to advocate for yourself. Contact The Law Office of Black & DePaoli, PC today to discuss your injuries.