Call it the maddening rush of our cities, callousness, or a mere disregard for other people and their safety, but personal injury cases are on the rise in America. They are accounting for emotional and financial crisis for many. In fact, while we can still put a figure on medical expenses, and earnings lost, the mental trauma and emotional upheaval experienced during an accident is insurmountable and uncountable.
Keeping the conditions and consequences of personal injury cases in mind, one must work toward receiving justice and fair compensation. You must protect your legal rights. Take the following points into account when opting for legal recourse in a personal injury case.
Suing or Filing a Lawsuit is Not an Expensive and Time-Consuming Process
There is no such thing as an irrelevant claim. When you have been hurt or face property damages due to negligence or intent of another person, you must file a case against those responsible. Many people shy away from filing a case, assuming high legal costs and complicated and lengthy procedures.
While the documentation and legalities can be complicated, it becomes much simpler when you have a personal injury attorney onboard. And, contrary to popular belief, legal consultation in a personal injury case is not going to rip you off. Most attorneys function on a contingency basis with the clients in personal injury cases. They do not charge anything until you do not get a just settlement for your case.
Besides, legal consultation inevitably leads to a stronger case and a higher settlement amount. The attorney takes care of all the legal complications and documentation.
Police Involvement is a Good Thing
Police personnel being present at the accident scene will help your case. Police officers can summon for medical help, and provide assistance in various other ways. They will also document the facts and conditions surrounding the case. On surveying the accident, they will issue a police report, which will act as evidence in your case. The absence of a police report can cause problems later in the case, when battling it out with the insurance companies about the fault and liability of the driver.
So, calling the police when the accident occurs – no matter how minor the injuries – is both mandatory and beneficial for the victim.
Medical Appointments and Check-Ups Need to Be Followed Rigorously
Just like police personnel, medical professionals also form a big part of your personal injury case. You must get immediate medical care after an accident. Minor looking injuries and internal injuries often grow into more painful and serious conditions weeks and months after the accident. Seek medical attention immediately. In states with Personal Injury Protection (PIP), the bills for these medical appointments are covered.
However, these check-ups also serve another very important purpose. When you are pursuing a personal injury case, these regular medical visits also function as evidence to assess and receive your claims. If you miss scheduled appointments, the insurance company will put forth the argument that you are fit enough, and hence do not need sustained treatment. This will lead to reduced or denied compensation. Later, if medical complications arise due to the injury, the insurance company will deny responsibility and not compensate you for it.
On the other hand, meeting the scheduled medical appointments will allow you and your attorney to add a medical expert’s point of view to the case and correctly assess expenses involved in ongoing medical treatment, and also determine what future medical expenses can result due to the injury caused. Periodic medical reports serve as evidence and cement your case.
Do Not Settle Early with Insurers
An injury leaves us physically hurt and mentally traumatized. In cases of extensive physical injury, or wrongful death, the damage done is irreversible. But, it is imperative that the victim or the victim’s surviving family members get compensated adequately in terms of money.
When you decide to represent yourself legally (that is, opt for pro se litigation), you face a risk of the insurance adjusters taking advantage of your delicate situation, and emotional vulnerability. This is a common occurrence. Emotionally and physically overwhelmed, we accept the initial settlement offered to us by the insurance adjusters. This is a legal faux pas. Do not settle early with insurers. In fact, do not talk to them at alL, or give any recorded statements without first seeking legal opinion. Insurers are trained to ask you seemingly harmless questions that can cause much damage to your case. Documents and recorded statements (literally anything you say) can be used to weaken your case.
The Preponderance of Evidence Standard Must Be Met in Civil Cases
In civil cases, the preponderance of the evidence is an important diktat for you to strengthen your case and get adequate compensation. This is actually good news, as civil cases demand far less rigid proof than criminal cases. What you need to prove is that the defendant more likely than not caused your injury. The collection and compilation of evidence thus become a lot less burdensome than in criminal cases.
An Expert Personal Injury Attorney Will Get You a Higher Settlement Amount
Every state has different procedures and statute of limitations in a personal injury case. Some of the most stringent rules apply in the states of Connecticut and Maryland. Renowned Connecticut personal injury attorney tells us the significance of having a legal professional on board early on in the case: “Consult an attorney as soon as possible when you get involved in a personal injury case. Record all information on the accident site. When you consult an attorney early on, the procedure moves forward within the stipulated time. The attorney and his team get more time to compile evidence, conduct all additional investigation needed, and determine general and specific damages amounts. An expert personal injury attorney can fight the insurance adjuster, bargain harder, and get you the just settlement amount.”
Though it is difficult, one must be realistic and strong when one is victimized in a personal injury accident. An expert attorney, attention to detail, realistic expectations, early review, and thorough preparation will help you protect your legal rights.