Have you been injured in a car crash, bitten by your neighbor’s dog, or went through medical malpractice? If so, your friends and family are probably telling you it is time to seek out a personal injury attorney for your injuries and any loss of income that came with this accident. Like most people, you may not be able to afford all these added financial burden, and may be considering your options.
However, going through a personal injury lawsuit is often confusing and complicated because it presents several hoops you may have to jump through. To give yourself a fighting chance at winning your injury case, you’ll need to prepare yourself for what is to come.
At Hann Law Firm, we know how difficult it can be to plan for a personal injury lawsuit when you are already facing the pain of your injuries and the difficulties that it causes in your everyday life. Let’s take a look at some of our favorite tips to prepare for your personal injury case.
Tip #1: Speak to a Lawyer Immediately
In the state of California, you will have 2 years from the time you are injured to file a personal injury lawsuit. However, if your injury was not discovered immediately (as is often the case with car accidents), you will have a year from the date that the injury was found.
It is in your best interest that you get in touch with an attorney immediately after being injured to sit down, discuss your case with you, and go over the entire process.
Your attorney will give you a full breakdown of what is to come, what paperwork will need to fill out and submit, and what you will do if offered a settlement from the defendant.
Tip #2: Head to Your Doctor for Evaluation and Treatment
It is always recommended that you go to your doctor to treat your injuries as soon as possible. Your doctors will be able to make notes of all injuries that you sustained from your accident in their reports. Your medical records will get used as evidence in your lawsuit, as they will show a timeline of your injuries.
Dependent on your injuries, your doctor may put you on a long-term treatment plan. This treatment plan may consist of follow-up appointments, and procedures (if applicable). You should follow this treatment plan to the T, as it is one of the few things that will help protect your injury claim. Failing to follow the program may give the defendant a way to lessen the value of your injury claim.
Tip #3: Collect All Evidence
Whether you were in medical malpractice or a car accident, you should gather all necessary information to prove negligence, including:
- Photos of the scene
- Photos of your injuries
- Witness information (names, phone numbers, addresses)
- Medical records
- The defendant’s information (name, phone number, address)
- Contact information of insurance companies
- Receipts of any and all money spent due to injuries
By compiling all of this evidence, your attorney will be able to fill out the proper paperwork that is needed to file your lawsuit. All paperwork must get filled out and filed within two years of the incident in the State of California..
Tip #4: Do Not Talk About Your Injuries or Case on Social Media
If you are going through a personal injury lawsuit, you should not talk about it on any of your social media accounts.
Many courts have ruled time and time again that there is no privacy when it comes to social media and lawsuits.. The defendant’s attorneys will have the option to petition the court and ask them for access to your social media accounts during the case, so anything and everything you say about your case or the incident on social media can (and attemptedly will) be used as evidence against you in court. Even if the judge doesn’t give the defense entry to your social media accounts, you may be required to provide copies of your videos, posts, and photos that are relevant to this lawsuit.
Your attorney will advise you that it is best to not post about your case on social media. It is also wise not to post photos of you doing activities that conflict with the injuries (or severity of)you sustained from the accident, even if you are fully healed at the time.
Tip #5: Know When to Take a Settlement
Going through trial can take several months and may be an arduous process, but your attorney will always have your best interest in mind. While your attorney may receive settlement offers that are less than ideal, there will be times when a settlement offer may be acceptable. Listen to your attorney’s advice and weigh your options carefully.
Before you even begin this process, you should sit down and talk to your attorney about how much money is a reasonable settlement offer. Your attorney will break this down for you, and explain the payout for:
- Medical Expenses
- Lost Wages
- Compensation for Pain and Suffering
- Punitive Damages (if applicable)
There will be some cases where a settlement may be a better option than going to trial, saving time, legal fees, and prolonged stress.
Tip #6: Stay in Touch with Your Attorney
It doesn’t matter if you are going through a child custody battle or a personal injury lawsuit. You should always keep open communication between you and your attorney. During your case, your communication should be transparent and consistent with your legal counsel.
Having open communication with your attorney will allow for any changes in your condition, status, or ability to be documented quickly and considered for your case. For instance, if your injuries have gotten worse in the last few weeks and now you cannot work, this will need to be added into your case documentation as quickly as possible.
Your attorney is on your side. They will answer all concerns and questions promptly. This communication will give you confidence and peace of mind knowing that they are doing everything they can to protect you.
Get In Touch With A California Personal Injury Attorney
If you have been injured in an accident in California and would like to learn more about your legal rights, Hann Law Firm is here to help.
We provide a thoughtful approach to personal injury cases and help you get the compensation you need while you focus on your recovery. We are seasoned California personal injury attorneys who know how to win – Contact us today to find out how we can help you get the justice you deserve.