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Injury claims often require a legal battle; Here’s how to prepare

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Even though injury claims can provide financial relief to people who have suffered an accident, in many cases, the process is rife with difficulties. Litigation is one aspect of this process that can be especially difficult for claimants.

Litigation is the formal legal process by which parties resolve disputes between themselves when they are unable to do so through negotiation or alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods. If you plan on pursuing a personal injury claim via this route, here’s how to prepare:

Lady Justice (©Tingey Injury Law Firm)
Lady Justice (©Tingey Injury Law Firm)

Hire a personal injury lawyer.

In order to take legal action over a personal injury claim, you need to hire a lawyer. Finding the right lawyer is crucial for any personal injury claim if you want to progress your PI claim faster because lawyers know what to file to set the process in motion. Your attorney will manage the case from start to finish and he or she can help protect your best interests throughout the process. Here is what to look out for when choosing a lawyer:

Experience

Your lawyer should have a track record of success. While having just any lawyer will not necessarily guarantee that you will lose your PI claim, finding an experienced one can significantly increase your chances of success. As such, lawyers with experience and a long-standing reputation within the legal community are preferable to those who lack these credentials and lack experience because these factors indicate they’ll be able to meet the task at hand all the more easily.

Communication

You should choose a lawyer who is easy to communicate with. You may have to be in touch with your attorney quite a bit as the case progresses, so it’s preferable if you enjoy talking to him or her. Your attorney will be able to answer any questions you have about the process and he or she should be able to provide guidance along the way as well.

Fees

In addition to having an attorney at your side, you also want an affordable one. Personal injury lawyers often fall into two categories: legal aid attorneys and private practice attorneys. An advantage of hiring a private practice attorney is that you are more likely to negotiate a payment arrangement, but you will often pay higher hourly rates. Legal aid attorneys usually do not charge an hourly rate because they receive funding from the state. 

Reputation

A final factor that should influence your decision is the lawyer’s reputation in the legal community and among former clients. If your attorney’s peers respect him or her, then you probably needn’t worry about whether he or she has what it takes to succeed at your PI claim. 

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Gather evidence. 

As you prepare for your claim, be sure to gather any evidence you can. This is crucial and can be the difference between winning and losing. Here are the types of evidence to gather.

Police report

In order for your PI claim to be viable, you need a police report. In some cases, officers will fill out a preliminary incident report before they conduct an investigation of the crash and they’ll put in writing any relevant details they deem worthy of note. Ideally, you should get a copy of the report from your lawyer because it is sometimes difficult and time-consuming to obtain them on your own. 

Medical records

You should also gather medical documentation of any injuries you suffered in the accident, including photos, X-rays, CT scans, hospital records, or doctors’ notes. These documents are crucial because they serve as evidence that an incident occurred which caused your injuries. 

Witness statements

Another important evidence type is witness statements. If witnesses saw the accident happen and can verify that you suffered injuries in the crash, their testimony could be crucial to your claim. 

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Prepare for the court date. 

Trial dates and hearings will loom in the future and it’s best to prepare for them ahead of time in order to come off as confident and knowledgeable about personal injury law when they arise. Follow these tips: 

Learn about personal injury law.

One way to be well-prepared for the impending court date is to become so familiar with personal injury law that you can anticipate what will be said at the hearing. Fortunately, there are many resources online that can help you educate yourself about PI law and also provide insights into how courts approach these types of cases and trials.

Get in shape for court.

Another way to be prepared is to get in shape for court. This means that you should get plenty of rest, eat well and stay hydrated on the day of your actual hearing. You should also dress smartly and take care of any pre-existing injuries.

Practice expressing anger and grief.

Prepare yourself ahead of time by practicing how you will express anger and grief when testifying at the trial or during depositions, if necessary. If you can establish a good rapport with the judge or jury by showing them that you are calm under pressure, then it could work in your favor when making your case for damages because they’ll be able to focus more keenly on what you’re saying instead of focusing their attention on how emotionally distraught you are.

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If you’re considering filing a personal injury case, it’s important to prepare for the legal battle ahead so that you can come out of it victorious. Follow these simple steps and your PI claim will be successful.

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