The road to recovery after a personal injury accident can be difficult. However, you may have the chance of winning your case regardless of any challenges that you are facing. Here are some tips for you to get an edge.
Hire The Right Lawyer
Even if you have not yet decided on a lawyer, choosing one from the start is better than picking one at the last minute. It will be easier for you to recover from injury if you hire a lawyer, especially in some states; hiring personal injury lawyers in Columbia, SC is necessary. A good personal injury attorney should be able to provide evidence of winning cases in your area. Tips for choosing the right lawyer:
- Check out their website to see if they have testimonials from other clients.
- Look for lawyers that are willing to take the case on a contingency fee basis or offer free/reduced fee services. You can get quick legal advice without paying them a cent!
- Find out whether there is a money-back guarantee in case you lose your case
Ask them for their past verdicts so that you can determine whether they are capable of representing your best interests.
Respect the Rules of Evidence
In a legal setting, there are rules that both parties must follow to maintain a fair trial. Violating these rules will only make your case weaker, so always keep them in mind when you prepare for court. For example, you can’t use hearsay evidence which means that if someone says something about what happened during the accident, it is not allowed unless there is proof. Other examples of not-allowed evidence include comments on the character or reputation of a person involved in the trial; and unrelated information.
Even if your lawyer thinks that this evidence will help your case, make sure you tell them to hold off for now. You can present it during the deposition process instead. If you are able to prove its validity before presenting it in court, then go ahead and use it when necessary.
Even though all types of personal injury cases are individualized, prepare yourself for court by gathering proper documentation. The list should include any records that will support your injuries such as medical bills, insurance policies, payslips from work when injured, and personal property damages. You should include copies of:
- Personal identification (driver’s license, passport, etc.)
- Documentary evidence (receipts, contracts, police reports)
- Medical records or medical bills paid on your behalf
Presenting evidence will help you win your case easier than if you don’t have any proof at all.
Don’t Talk To Insurance Adjusters
Many people think that keeping good relations with the insurance company is important since they may be called upon to pay for your injuries in the future. However, talking to them directly about anything related to your injury can hurt your case because:
- They want to settle as quickly as possible before the evidence becomes too strong,
- They will not be able to settle if you do not allow them to inspect your medical records
- Insurance companies only want to get rid of their financial obligations.
Do everything in person or through email so you can protect yourself legally. Make sure that if it’s an email, keep a record of anything discussed. Sometimes insurance companies will try to get more information about your case by sending beneficiaries emails offering their help with no legal obligation attached.
Before leaving the scene, make sure that you take photos and record everything that happened during and after the accident. These include damage to vehicles, property and injuries sustained by everyone involved in your case. If there were any witnesses who saw how it all happened, get their contact details as well.
You do not have to go back to work immediately after the accident even if you feel that you are ready. Take a few days for yourself and recover properly. This will help prevent health complications in the future, as well as keep your case strong since you won’t be appearing weak in front of the court. An attorney will know how to make this possible during trial. If you can’t afford to lose time from your job, ask your doctor’s note about limited duties or temporary removal from work until further notice. You can also show proof like photos of any family members or friends who can assist with household chores and kids during recovery – this is especially important if someone suffered a brain injury and cannot move on their own.
Get Multiple Estimates
A great way to prove the extent of your damages is by getting multiple estimates from experts who will testify on your behalf. Some experts include physicians, chiropractors, life care planners, vocational experts and economists. You should present these experts with accurate records including medical bills, lost time at work or school, pain and suffering etc. Once the reports are filed with the court judge they cannot be changed during the trial because it would be an unfair surprise for the opposing side.
Have a Thorough Investigation
It is essential to have an independent investigation done during the discovery process by a qualified professional. This is important because it will help your lawyer build a more powerful case against your opponents. The professionals that you should look for are contract investigators, accountants and private investigators.
Be Prepared To Tell Your Story
When going in front of a judge or jury make sure to be prepared with all of the facts in your case. You must also come across as credible and honest who tells a story. Do not let any emotions get in the way when providing your testimony or else this could lead to you being seen as unreliable in the eyes of the judge or jury.
Also, make sure that you are aware of how to handle questions from the opposing side when in court. This is why it’s important to have a lawyer by your side who can help with answering questions correctly or recalling certain facts only stated during cross-examination.
Remember that anything that you say to insurance adjusters can and probably will be used against you during the trial.
Remember everything that was discussed in the article. Do not let insurance companies take advantage of you. Make sure that you are aware of what they are capable of doing to your case and always protect yourself during all interactions with them so you can keep your case strong. Hire a lawyer. Finally, the more evidence, the stronger the case will be when it’s time for trial.