You were injured in an accident, and it was someone else’s fault.
You’d think the case would be cut and dried, and you would receive the compensation you deserve. But the other party isn’t likely to give in without a legal fight, and you need solid evidence to strengthen your claim.
The first step after you’ve taken care of your injuries is to find an experienced attorney. Even if you don’t think the damage is severe, it helps to have someone guiding you through the red tape.
Then, use these tips to build your personal injury case.
1. Stick With Your Medical Care
The most important thing to understand about a personal injury case is that the other party is paying for damages. If you’re not injured, or you are but don’t have evidence, they aren’t responsible for anything.
That said, the best way for you to prove you’re injured and get better is to follow your medical plan of treatment. The doctors you see after your injury are experienced professionals. They know what to look for and how to treat the problem.
They also know how to document this information so that your attorney can use it to prove your injuries.
If you frequently skip appointments or decide they’re not helpful and stop going, you could be labeled “non-compliant.” When that happens, the insurance company can easily get off the hook for your expenses.
Follow the doctor’s orders. If you’re unsure about something they recommend, bring it up to your lawyer. They’ll let you know if it’s part of the normal procedure or not.
2. Work With Your Doctor and Lawyer
The two people who want to help you recover are your doctor and lawyer. They can’t see the whole picture to give you proper advice, though, if you’re hiding stuff from them.
Working with both these professionals as a team means being honest. So there’s something in your past you’re not proud of. Share it with them anyway. There’s a medical issue you had that you don’t think is a big deal. Tell them anyway.
It’s almost guaranteed that those things will be revealed by the defense. It’s better for your “team” to know it ahead and decide how to handle it if it affects the case at all.
It’s also possible that the omission could cost you your settlement. The defense can try to use it to show that you’re untrustworthy or that the injury you’re claiming was from a previous accident.
JT Legal Group explains how to avoid accidentally damaging your case in their article here.
3. Save Evidence
In a personal injury case, you never know what could make or break the verdict. Sometimes, it comes down to a photograph, like in the 90s hit movie “My Cousin Vinny.” The directors used humor to show how a picture won the case, but in reality, this does happen.
Do your best to keep every piece of documentation you’re given. Make copies, and give the originals to your attorney.
Throughout the case, you’ll pile evidence like:
- Police reports
- Accident reports
- Eyewitness testimony
- Your written statements and journals
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Transportation costs for doctor and attorney visits
In general, if anything you do relates to the case, save the documentation. Let your lawyer decide if it’s important or not.
4. Avoid Social Media At All Costs
Billions of people use social media every day. It’s almost like breathing to many of us, but you have to cut the oxygen cord when you file a lawsuit.
Turning to social media to vent your frustration about your injuries, the case, or life in general is dangerous. Anything you think is an innocent post can be twisted by the insurance company.
You’re “On Trial” While Your Case is Active
While you’re in the midst of a lawsuit, assume that the other party is monitoring your every move. They’re checking your social media (even if you think it’s private). They’re making sure you’re not whipping off your neck brace and dancing on karaoke night.
Keep in mind that by paying someone to keep tabs on you, they could be saving hundreds of thousands of dollars if they “catch you” doing something you shouldn’t be.
Don’t Discredit Yourself For the Other Side
Social media is the easiest way to do this. Your own pictures and posts can be enough to damage your credibility for them.
On your social media page, you might be trying to fake feeling great when you’re actually depressed. Unfortunately, the jury doesn’t see what was going on inside your mind when you wrote the post.
When your future expenses are riding on the outcome of a personal injury lawsuit, it’s better to shut down your social media until the case is over.
Right after an accident happens, you’re probably not thinking too clearly. You’re stressed, in pain, and confused as to what you should do next. Instead of handling it all on your own, find an attorney to help you, and follow these four essential tips to build your case.