Unfortunately, there’s no guaranteed way to win a personal injury lawsuit. Nevertheless, there are several steps you can take to strengthen your case and improve your chances of a favorable outcome.
At Reed & Garcia Law, PC, we’ll walk you through each step. We also want to point out that one of the best ways to maximize your potential in a personal injury claim is to hire an experienced lawyer.
Step 1: Preserve Evidence
Evidence can be anything from photos of the accident scene and your immediate injuries to the torn and/or bloodied clothing you wore on the day of your accident. Whatever you can compile to show what happened and how it affected you may help strengthen your case. If there are any witnesses to the accident or fall, get their contact information immediately.
You can also document your injuries as time goes on by taking photos of physical changes (i.e. bruises that change color over time) and regularly checking in with your doctor.
Step 2: Seek Medical Treatment Immediately
Even if you don’t feel injured, you should visit an emergency room or make an appointment with your primary care physician. Sometimes, injuries emerge after the shock of your accident has worn off and you have less adrenaline in your body. A medical professional may be able to see the signs of a serious injury before you do.
Additionally, the fact that you sought out medical attention can show the severity of your injuries, and any notes or tests your doctor compiles can be used as evidence in court.
Step 3: Be Honest About Pre-Existing Conditions
When you speak to your doctor and lawyer, you should always be truthful. If your accident exacerbated a prior medical condition, surgery, or health issue, you may still be entitled to compensation. An experienced attorney can help make sure that pre-existing conditions do not seriously affect your case. If you keep your health a secret, though, you are setting yourself up for attacks from insurance companies and that can damage your credibility during negotiations.
Step 4: Keep Your Receipts
One of the key components of your case is how your injury affected you financially. Track your medical expenses carefully, and don’t forget about transportation to and from the hospital or doctor’s office, co-pays, the costs of your prescriptions, and any missed work. Put your receipts for gasoline and from pharmacies next to your medical bills and pay stubs and you’ll truly start to see the impact your injury had on you, economically – and the court will, too!
Remember not to undervalue other losses, either. If you are terrified of driving after your car accident or experiencing any other negative emotions, tell your physicians and seek counseling.
Step 5: Be Patient
A low initial offer from an insurance company may seem appealing, especially when you are facing economic hardships. Accepting a low offer before you are done with medical treatment, however, means undervaluing the impact your injury has had on you and ignoring any affects it may have on you in the future.
Insurance companies sometimes want to settle claims outside of court. However, they also want to protect their bottom lines. As such, they may make an offer that seems nice at first, but fails to address your future medical bills or pain and suffering, especially if you do not have a personal injury attorney. An attorney can help you decide whether or not to accept a settlement, explain why certain offers are inadequate, and maximize your payout through settlement negotiations or a trial.
This will take time, but it may be worth the wait. Be sure to communicate with your attorney about your goals. In some cases, your lawyer may be able to streamline the process.
- During your personal injury case, be sure to stay off social media. Anything you post can be misconstrued by the defense and/or used against you. The same goes for texts and emails. If you wouldn’t want it read in front of a judge and jury, don’t write it down – anywhere or to anyone.
- Trust your lawyer’s experience, if they have experience with similar cases and settlements. They will use their education, skill, and experience to put you in the best possible position to resolve your case.
- Take advantage of free consultations or case evaluations. These meetings can help you choose the right lawyer, which is the key to winning your case. At Reed & Garcia Law, PC, we offer free case evaluations and serve as a legal dream-team when battling insurance companies. Call us at (310) 242-8933 or contact us online to schedule your complimentary case review.