Personal injury lawyers represent those who have been injured in an accident, particularly if the accident is the fault of another party. Personal injury cases commonly involve things such as car accidents, workplace injuries, or premises injuries, such as slips and falls.
Plaintiffs in personal injury cases may be owed compensation for medical expenses, lost income, or pain and suffering as a result of the accident. It’s natural to go into a personal injury case wondering what the average settlement is for your situation, but the truth is that it isn’t that simple. Personal injury cases are complicated, and each one is different. Depending on a variety of factors, successful cases can have payouts of a few thousand dollars to as much as $75,000. While you can’t predict how much you can get from a case, you can do some things to ensure you have the best chance possible for a successful settlement when you contact a personal injury lawyer.
Seek immediate medical attention
Seeking medical attention after an accident is important in any situation, and it’s even more vital if you think you could have a personal injury case. First, seeking immediate attention will let medical professionals diagnose your injuries as soon as possible, giving you the best chance at a normal recovery. Even if you aren’t in any obvious pain, it’s still important to get checked, because some injuries can show subtle signs or only become obvious after the accident.
Immediate medical attention also helps prove that all injuries suffered were a direct result of the accident. If you wait to get attention, the defendant may be able to argue that your injuries were caused by another event, thus weakening your claim. Seeking attention immediately and keeping up with any follow-up appointments also ensures your medical records won’t have gaps, which can be devastating for any case. The defendants will do anything they can to point out inconsistencies to discredit your claim, so closing off that possibility is the best thing you can do.
Before you meet with a lawyer for a consultation, it’s best to have as much evidence as possible. This is because personal injury lawyers typically work on contingent fees. You’ll only pay the lawyer a percentage of your payout if the case is won, which means seeking an attorney comes with little risk. But this also means the lawyers will be less likely to take your case if they don’t believe it’s a good one.
You’ll generally want to start with visual evidence. Ideally, you’d have video or photographic evidence of the accident scene itself. Even if no one is available to record the scene at the time, it’s still worth returning to it. Particularly in cases involving vehicle accidents, recording any evidence such as skid marks or sign locations can add context to the situation. You’ll also want to collect all other relevant information such as medical records, accident reports, and witness contact information when applicable. Having as much information as possible will demonstrate that you’re a serious and cooperative client, which increases the odds of your case being accepted.
Keep in contact
It may be easy to believe that once you’ve hired a lawyer, your work is done, but this is hardly the case. You need to keep your attorney updated on progress with your injury, as well as record all expenses incurred because of it. This includes medical expenses, but it also includes any income lost because of your being unable to work or any other expenses directly tied to your injury. These factors will all be considered when it comes to your settlement. Finally, you’ll want to direct any questions from outside parties, such as insurance companies, to your attorney. Speaking to anyone else about your injury or your case may damage your settlement.