The bulk of civil cases in the US pertain to personal injury. NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) reports an average of 6 million car accidents a year and another 1.5 million medical malpractice cases every year.
So how does the average person gain a fair chance at receiving compensation in a personal injury case? Lake Charles Louisiana Personal Injury Attorneys discuss a few strategies below.
Transparency is key when speaking with your attorney.
Present all the facts, even those you think will disparage you, to your injury lawyer. Don't hide or forget to share details that you think will make you look bad or you deem unimportant. It's their job to decide if a detail is important or not. Do include preexisting medical conditions as these will usually come out anyway. Your personal injury legal team can only do their job effectively when provide with all relevant information.
Keep the details of your case to yourself.
Don't talk about your accident until you hired an attorney who can guide you. Somethings said loosely can be used on record and against you by the offending party's legal team. Stray comments or offering information not asked for can dismantle your case.
DO NOT speak to the insurance company representatives.
All comments made to the insurance company are on record. Often, insurance company representatives will manipulate the conversation to extract information that can damage your case. If an insurance representative calls, let them know you are working with an attorney and give them your attorney's information. Your attorney will provide the details of the accident and arrange a call when he or she can be on the call with you.
Do you have what it takes for a legal battle.
Legal action takes time, do you have the time to battle the insurance company? Many clients don't think about this before engaging in legal action.
Avoid lawyers that promise large awards or big compensation without fully understanding your case. Ostentatious attorneys can seem impressive with their legal speak, but this does not equate to skill in the courtroom or at the negotiating table,
Do Your Homework.
When doing due diligence on attorneys and cases like yours, consider the most recent cases closed (within the last 5 years). This is a better gauge of what you can expect, and whether your claim will hold up in court.
Obtain a professional medical opinion.
Your attending doctor's medical opinion is critical to winning a personal injury case. Ask him or her directly - what their testimony would be if you need to go to court over your injuries. If he or she implies your injury is unrelated to the accident, your claim is in trouble. Doctors are viewed, and used as expert witnesses; their testimony can be paramount to your case's outcome. Your doctor's reputation is also crucial to your outcome.
Document evidence of the accident.
Post-accident documentation is vital to securing compensation. When possible, collect video, official written documents, and statements. The quality of your documented evidence is everything, so document the scene of the accident using a camera, or collect written or audio statements with contact information from the witnesses. Good-quality evidence is the foundation of any legal case. Collect as much evidence as possible and allow your legal team to determine relevance to your case.
Avoid discussing your case, especially on social media.
Many victims can't resist discussing the details of their case with friends and family, and even on social media. We cannot overemphasize that this can be detrimental to your award or verdict. When information is discussed in detail it can be taken out of context and most likely used against you. The old adage - not every friend wishes you well holds much truth.
You and your legal counsel are a team.
Don't disagree with or try to upstage your attorney. If you take issue or disagree with a statement made by your attorney, discuss it in private to reconcile your strategy. The attorney and client need to be in consensus to be successful.
Be patient and trust the process.
Civil claims take time to resolve. Be patient; losing stamina can work against you. Ask your attorney to keep you apprised of the progress and strategy. Impatience is a recipe for failure. You should have a general understanding of the timeline from your initial conversations with the legal team.
Understand the potential outcomes of your case.
Your legal team should be able to cover the range of possible outcomes of your case. Armed with this knowledge, discuss your physical and financial ability to endure.
A victim's character may be called into question.
When large compensation is at stake, the defendant's attorneys are known for digging into the past of the victim to damage their reputation. Be ready to have your life's choices questioned. Character assassination, while unfortunate, is frequently employed to win a case. Your attorney will advise you on steps that can help with this early in the consultation.
When is settlement a good option?
A settlement can resolve your case sooner, providing financial compensation and often allowing you to move past the accident and on with your life. Trusting your legal team is important when deciding to settle or continue the battle. That is why interviewing and finding the best personal injury attorney in Lake Charles, Louisiana, for your case is of paramount importance. You will need a legal team you can trust, with experience and knowledge to help you make educated decisions in your pursuit of justice.
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