If you’ve been injured at the hands of someone else, you might consider making a personal injury claim. Here are a few things to consider before filing.
You should hire an attorney.
“Except in the simplest of cases, where your injuries aren’t significant and you’re confident you can get a satisfactory result on your own, it’s probably best to at least discuss your case with a personal injury attorney,” writes David Goguen, J.D., of AllLaw.
Goguen points out that talking with a lawyer isn’t the same thing as hiring one. The first consultation is typically free, and they’ll help you determine whether or not you have a case.
“Depending on the amount of money at stake and complexity of the legal issues in your case—and also depending on how much of a fight the other side is willing to put up—it might just be worth it to have an attorney fight the fight for you,” he concludes.
Contact a personal injury law firm and set up a free consultation. Their legal expertise will be vital in helping you win your case.
You’ll want an accurate record of the proceedings.
Having an accurate report of your case is very helpful. You’ll be calling in several witnesses for depositions and testimonies to help your case, and having an accurate report can help carry your strong case to the end.
Hiring a court reporter is the best way to get an accurate record. While a digital court recorder will capture some of the proceedings, the report isn’t as fast or accurate as you need it to be. Find an agency that will record your proceedings for you, no matter where you’re located. For instance, there are West Palm Beach court reporters that will transcribe both your local and out-of-state depositions and court proceedings and get it back to you at lightning speed.
The more evidence and witnesses you have, the better.
Most personal injury cases aren’t black and white. It might seem obvious that you’re in the right, but if the opposing side hires a good attorney, you’ll be in for a challenge. It’s important to gather as much evidence as possible to prove that you’re justified for compensation.
Start with interviewing witnesses at the scene of the accident. If you had the presence of mind, you would have gotten their names and numbers so you can contact them later. You can also contact the police to get their report following an accident.
Work with your attorney to get as much information as you can. The firm will do much of the legwork, but you can help to speed things up by providing evidence of your own.
Most personal injury claims settle outside of court.
You might imagine a court case like you see in television with attorneys representing a defendant and plaintiff before a judge. While there is usually a defendant, plaintiff, their lawyers, and a judge, most cases are solved without actually going to court.
“Due to the nature of personal injury cases and the flooded court system, many personal injury cases settle outside of court,” explains an article from HG.org. “This means that a judge or jury does not decide the outcome. Instead, the victim’s personal injury lawyer negotiates a monetary settlement with the insurance company or defendant. The victim gets to decide whether or not to accept a proposed settlement.”
There may be a need for mediation or collaboration to overcome certain legal disputes. If the victim does not accept the settlement, they’ll go to court and continue fighting.
Not everyone wins.
In an ideal world, everyone who has been injured at the hands of someone else would receive compensation for their injuries. However, that’s not always the case. If there’s not enough evidence to support your claim or the defendant’s attorney outmatches yours, you may not see a dime.
The good news is most personal injury attorneys don’t charge you anything unless they win, so you won’t have added bills to add to your hardships.