Most of the civil cases in the United States have to do with personal injury. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the country has an average of 6 million car accidents a year, which does not include 125,000 collisions involving other vehicles, 5,000 deaths from road accidents, and 1.5 million medical malpractice cases every year.
How do you get a better than fair chance of winning your personal injury case? Here are 15 strategies to consider:
1. Be Transparent with Your Attorney
Present all the facts to your lawyer. Do not hide anything, even the details that you think are unimportant or make you look bad. It is the job of your attorney to decide what is and what is not important for your case, including preexisting medical conditions. Your legal team can only do an effective job with all the relevant information.
2. Keep Case Details to Yourself
Do not talk about the incident until you have hired a lawyer who can guide you appropriately. Something you say off the cuff may be put on record and used against you by the other party, causing you to lose money. The last thing you want is to torpedo your case because of a stray comment.
3. Do Not Talk to Insurance Providers
Do not make any commitments to insurance companies. Many insurance companies manipulate people, and try to back them into a corner or get them to say something harmful to their case on the record. Play coy and wait for your lawyer to give you proper legal advice.
4. Ask Yourself if You are Ready for a Legal Battle
Can you afford to sue? Do you have the time to do this? Believe it or not, many people do not ask themselves these questions before pursuing legal action. If you think it will be too much for you to handle, then it is okay to walk away.
5. Steer Clear of Pie-in-the-Sky Attorneys
Avoid lawyers who promise you thousands of dollars in compensation right away – without hearing your case completely. Flashy and loud attorneys can be impressive with their words, but this does not automatically translate to skill in the negotiating table or courtroom.
6. Do Your Homework
Study cases like the one you plan to file and look at how they were won or lost. This will give you a better idea of what to expect, and help you understand if you have a quality claim or not. However, try to stick to cases that were filed in the last five years only, as these are probably the most relevant.
7. Try to Get a Medical Professional on Your Side
Make sure your doctor is on your side. The attending doctor is crucial to winning a personal injury case because if he says the injury is unrelated to the accident, then you have a major problem. Doctors are looked upon as expert witnesses and their testimony can make or break a case. Your doctor should be credible, with a good reputation, for his or her testimony to carry as much weight as it can in the courtroom.
8. Document Every Piece of Evidence in Your Case
Try to document everything using a camera or written official documents. Good-quality evidence is the cornerstone to any legal case. Collect anything and everything that appears relevant and bring it to your attorney.
9. Try Not to Bloviate When Discussing Your Case
Avoid exaggeration when discussing your case with anyone. Many people cannot resist the urge to talk about ongoing legal action, and sometimes details get overemphasized. Again, this can be taken out of context by the other party and used against you.
10. You and Your Attorney Are a Team
Don’t fight with or try to upstage your lawyer, especially in front of other people. If there is an issue or something you do not agree with, discuss it privately and try to agree on a common strategy. Both attorney and client need to be in tight tandem if they are to be successful.
11. Trust the Process
Be patient. Many people tend to get stressed because civil claims take a while to resolve, but losing your patience can work against you. The best approach would be to keep up to date with the goings on and overall strategy with your attorney. Don’t get antsy and decide to change you what you want midway through the negotiations. This is a recipe for disaster and a great way to set your case up for failure.
12. Cover All of Your Bases
Do the math with your lawyer. Understand the best and worst possible outcome for your case. Being aware of every possible scenario, find common ground on how far you want to take the case, and what outcomes you would be willing to accept.
13. Your Character May Be a Point of Contention
Be ready to have your life turned upside down because the other party will do their best to damage your reputation in order to win. During a lawsuit, the opposing parties may stoop to character assassination to win the case. This means being on your best behavior.
14. Sometimes a Settlement Is a Good Option
Consider a settlement. This will resolve your case faster and allow you to put everything behind you.
15. Chose an Attorney Who Is Right for You
Hire the right lawyer. Don’t pick someone based on a recommendation or rumor. Study the experience, training, and skills of the lawyer and the firm he works for before making your decision. Also, make sure you like his style and personality. Making an educated choice will make the process much easier on you and your loved ones.
Need a Personal Injury Lawyer? Call the Tenge Law Firm, LLC!
Here at the Tenge Law Firm, LLC, we know how difficult it can be to navigate a personal injury case. There are a lot of factors to consider, and the difference between a successful and unsuccessful case can be razor-thin. Our veteran trial lawyers know the ins and outs of the Colorado legal system and will do everything in their power to make sure you get the justice you are entitled to.
If you or a loved one needs personal injury representation in Boulder, Denver, or Fort Collins, please contact our firm today to schedule a free consultation by sending us an online message or calling (303) 665-2929.