Preparing for an Injury Claim
In an injury claim there are certain pieces of information that your attorney will need to prove your case successfully and to obtain compensation on your behalf. Once obtained this information will allow your attorney to make an accurate evaluation as to the likelihood of success of your case, whether there are any issues that may be problematic, such as the plaintiffs own negligence, and how much compensation is likely to be payable in the event of success.
If you are at Fault
However, even if the accident was partially your fault, it is common for accident victims who have suffered injury to be able to claim some compensation. The actual figure will depend on the extent to which you were to blame for the accident. For example, if you are partially to blame for the accident, you will receive some of the damages that you would have received if you had not contributed to the cause of the accident. This is not the case in some states (Alabama, District of Colombia, Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia) where, if you are partially at fault for an accident, you are not entitled to compensation.
Settling Prior to Trial
Although it is true that a large number of injury claims settle prior to getting to trial, your accident lawyer will prepare the case as though it is going to be heard at court. Your attorney will communicate with the other side, and may instruct experts to prepare reports relating to how the accident happened, how the injuries were sustained, the extent of injuries suffered and the short, middle and long term prognosis.
Gathering Evidence for your Claim
Your injury attorney will also need to see your medical records, not least because the expert who will be advising about your injuries will need to be able to consider these prior to completing a report. Although the pre-trial protocol varies depending on which state you are filing in, it is very important to ensure that you have as much evidence as possible as it puts your attorney in a stronger position in terms of negotiating a settlement with the other side.
Because of the strict time limits on filing injury claims, it is vital that your attorney moves quickly to prepare and present your case to the other side, with a view to either reaching a settlement or taking the case to trial.
Preparing for a Courtroom Appearance
If your case does go to court, you should be prepared to take the stand. The attorney for the other side is likely to ask you a succession of questions, some of which are designed to trip you up. The most important thing to do when you are in court is stay calm and try not to let the opposing attorney make assertions without letting you respond, or imply that you are less than sure of what happened. If you are concerned about your courtroom appearance speak to your accident attorney beforehand.
- If you need legal assistance with an Injury Claim, click here to consult with an Accident Lawyer near you to discuss the details of your case. This website is for informational purposes only.