(CNBNewsnet)(August 30, 2018)--Going through an accident which involves a personal injury and then the fallout from that accident such as hospital treatment, recovery and dealing with the police can be very stressful. As a personal injury victim, you should be focussing on your recovery and, immediately after the incident, your next action should have been to consult professional personal injury lawyers such as Bond & Taylor Injury Lawyers to take your case to the next stage.
When you involve a reputable firm of personal injury lawyers, you are given the time and freedom to completely detach from your case and focus on what’s important: getting better. Personal injury lawyers are fully trained and experienced to completely handle your case with minimal involvement from yourself. As such, there are several common occurrences and mistakes made by personal injury clients which can slow cases down and harm their chances of success.
If you are currently undergoing the legal process in relation to a personal injury case, then carry on reading so you are aware of and can avoid these key mistakes. By avoiding these perfectly innocent mistakes, you give yourself the best chance of success.
#1: Thinking Your Question Could Be Stupid
A lot of the time, advertising makes it look like personal injury cases are super simple. In reality, this is not the case and they can be quite complex, especially when there is a serious injury involved.
When it comes to your case, no question is a stupid question. Your lawyer is not going to think you are stupid. After all, you are not a legal professional and you have likely never gone through the process before. Also, as a client, you have the right to know everything about your case. If you have a question, just ask it. Your lawyer probably couldn’t do your job, so they won’t expect you to do or understand theirs.
Personal injury law is complicated and by asking questions, you are actively showing an interest and learning, something any good lawyer would respect.
#2: Not Keeping Important Evidence
In law, cases can be settled and decided based on the simplest piece of evidence. The first thing you should be doing after having an accident is gathering and keeping important pieces of evidence. Keep and document absolutely everything. If you have a phone with you and aren’t incapacitated, take pictures of the accident scene, gather information from any nearby witnesses and begin to amass paperwork.
Keep hold of any evidence you gather. You never know when a medical bill or piece of information will be requested, especially if your case goes to trial, and not having certain information can be detrimental to a case, have it thrown out or see your compensation reduced.
#3: Not Getting Medical Evidence
In many cases, clients are eager to settle. It’s not surprising either, as it’s not as if personal injury cases are interesting to the average clients, most of whom just want to collect their compensation and get on with their lives.
It’s a common tactic for insurers to try and settle up cases quickly by immediately offering a settlement figure, and clients often find themselves tempted by this. However, with medical evidence provided by a medical professional, your case could be worth so much more money. A lawyer will always try and encourage you to gather medical evidence as it will enable them to make a better judgment of your case’s value, however, you are not legally obliged to do this. It is always recommended, though.
#4: Assuming Your Case Will Be Simple
Personal injury claims are rarely simple and straightforward. Sure, some can be – particularly minor road traffic collisions – however, the majority are not. Bringing a claim forward and taking it to settlement or to the courts can be a long and complicated process. Don’t expect that your settlement sum is going to be in your bank account one week after consulting an attorney because it’s not going to be!
There are several things you can do to make your case a lot easier. Always be available to speak to your lawyer, return calls, reply to emails, provide any information requested in a timely manner, and be as cooperative as possible. Your lawyer may be leading your case, but there will be times when you need to get involved, and the sooner you do, the better.
#5: Expecting Your Lawyer to Constantly Be Available
Whilst it’s good to take an interest in your case, you also need to remember that your lawyer probably has hundreds of cases going on at any given time, each one being at a different place along the negotiation or judicial process. There’s nothing wrong with occasionally contacting your lawyer to find out what’s going on, but you should also act with courtesy and not be too overbearing.
Your lawyer isn’t going to have your case on his or her mind at all times, and that is to be expected. No matter how good a firm is, they aren’t going to be able to dedicate 100% of their lawyers’ time to you. Be safe in the knowledge that your lawyer is handling your case and if there is anything you need to be made aware of, they will do their best to reach out to you and provide an update. They are legally obliged to provide you with information as your case develops, so there really is no need to worry.
The legal process in regard to a personal injury can be very complicated and it’s only natural to feel somewhat overwhelmed if it is your very first time dealing with an attorney. For most people, a personal injury case is their first ever exposure to the legal world. Whilst it’s good to take an active interest in your case, just be aware that there are certain things you should and should not be doing to ensure everything runs smoothly and your case is resolved as soon as possible.