Personal injury law involves situations when someone is injured due to the fault of another. It is possible to seek monetary damages to cover the cost of medical bills, lost wages and the pain associated with the injury in question. The process one must go through can be a little overwhelming, especially when this is something one has never experienced. With that said, here is some information that will give you a good idea of what can be expected.
Seek Medical Attention
The minute an incident occurs, it is important that you head to a medical facility to get checked out. Even though things may seem minor in the beginning, there is a chance that your body is having a delayed response and injuries may present themselves in the future. If you refuse to be seen, it will be difficult to prove your case later since your injuries will not be documented. Your testimony is not likely to be enough evidence to have things turn out in your favor.
Finding Legal Help
The next thing you want to do is hire a lawyer that can represent you during the trial. Since the term “personal injury” is a bit ambiguous and encompasses many different types of cases, it is a good idea to focus on someone who specializes in the type of injury you have sustained. For instance, if you were harmed during a surgical procedure because your provider was negligent, you should seek out someone who has experience with medical malpractice.
If you decide to hire someone randomly who claims that they have experience in all kinds of injuries, you would be doing yourself a disservice since there are nuances that only someone skilled in certain areas of law would know.
Any notes, photos, medical documents and contact information for witnesses should be turned over to your lawyer. They will use all of this as part of their investigation. Even if something seems rather trivial, you should turn it over. It may end up being the piece of evidence needed to secure a win.
While some personal injury cases go to trial, there are others that conclude during the settlement negotiation stage. You should be wary of any lawyer that makes it seem like you have to take a settlement and going to court is not an option. The point of negotiations is your lawyer fighting for fair compensation. If they are able to get enough to cover everything without heading to trial, you can call this a success. In the event that the lawyer for the other party is not willing to agree on a fair settlement.
If your lawyer decides that it would be in your best interest to head to trial, paperwork will be filed and a hearing will be scheduled. It is your responsibility to make sure that you attend any follow-up medical appointments, physical therapy sessions and court-related meetings. This will ensure that you are all set when the trial date arrives.
You should remain poised and professional at all times and look to your attorney for direction if you are confused about any part of the trial. It is important that you are completely honest and that your story remains the same throughout the trial process. If the judge feels that you are dishonest at any time, it is likely your case will be dismissed, so stick to the truth.
In the event that you are successful and monetary damages are awarded, keep in mind that you will have to use part of this to pay for your lawyer and there is a chance that the insurance company you have may try to regain some of the money they lost when paying out any claims you may have submitted.
As you can tell, there is a great deal that goes into a personal injury trial. It is important that you are clear about what is expected and you act accordingly. Being honest, showing up with necessary and making sure that you have all of the necessary paperwork means that it is likely that things will go well when it is time for you to go through this process.