Have you been injured and think you have a lawsuit? Many people think that people sue because they see advertising for personal injury lawyers. Nearly 80% of people say that they think people are encouraged to sue when they have no case because of the ads they see. At the same time, most cases never see the inside of a courtroom. Nearly 98% of all personal injury lawsuits are settled out of court. The breakdown of these cases is as follows: motor vehicle accidents account for about 20% of the cases, product liability cases account for 13% of the cases and the last 10% are from medical malpractice cases.
If you have been injured and have a personal injury case, you need to:
- Get medical treatment. If you have been in an accident, whether it was a motor vehicle accident or something else, you have to get medical care. There are two legal reasons for this. In the first place, the court will not respond well to people who purposefully did not get treatment to make their injuries look worse than they are. In the second place, the treatment you get will result in paperwork that can be invaluable to your lawyers and your lawsuit. This documentation can form some of the basis for your case. If you are suing for pain and suffering and lost income, your initial medical evaluations will help you with all of that. The doctors and other medical staff can bear witness to the extent of your injury.
- Document everything at the scene. If you were in a car accident and the police were involved, you will need to get their report. You can also take pictures yourself, or if you were taken away in an ambulance, have someone at the scene (if possible) take photos and video. The camera on your phone should be fine for this purpose. It does not have to be Oscar worthy film to get the point across. Whatever evidence you can gather from where you suffered your injury will help your case.
- Document all of your medical care. You may want to keep a journal. You may think at the time that you will never forget the pain that you are in but you will. It does not matter how bad it is, the brain does not hold on to that kind of thing for long. That is how women can have more than one child. They forget how much it hurts. Tell your doctors that you are planning a lawsuit against the person who hurt you (or the company where you suffered your injury). They may take their notes a little differently to help your case and your lawyers.
- Talk to a few lawyers. Take advantage of the free first consultation that is offered by most personal injury law firms. This is a good time for you to get to know them and for them to get to know you. Contrary to what people may think, most personal injury attorneys do not want to take cases unless they think they can win them. Other than being on the up and up, many make arrangements with their clients where they will not get paid unless they win. Taking a lot of losing cases would cost them too much money.
- Hire a personal injury attorney. The attorney or law firm you select needs to be experienced with personal injury law. Just like doctors specialize, so do lawyers. You want a lawyer with a ton of personal injury law experience. As was mentioned before, the vast majority of these cases are settled rather than being worked out in a “Law andamp; Order” style trial. You want someone who is really good at this negotiation process. You also want a lawyer with whom you can communicate. They do not have to become your best friend but you are going to have to share some of the most private parts of your life and you need to be able to. If you cannot do that, you will do yourself a huge disservice.
Do your research and take your notes and your case will work out better.