A personal injury case can be a lot to handle for anyone. That is because you have to deal with the injury itself and the various expenses that come with it, like medical bills and lost wages since you may not be able to work. Plus there is the emotional fallout as well, which could include the pain and suffering caused by the injury and the inability to perform or enjoy certain activities the way you could before. And on top of all of that you need to worry about getting the compensation needed to deal with those expenses.
Luckily you don’t, and shouldn’t have to deal with all of those problems on your own. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you with all of the legal aspects of your case while you focus on your recovery. Your attorney will fight for you and do all they can to make sure that you get the compensation that you need. If you live in the St. Louis area and need help with your personal injury case, then you can learn more here.
Take a Record of the Accident Scene
This means taking pictures of meaningful details of the accident scene if you are able. It does not matter what kind of personal injury you have suffered, taking pictures of the accident scene can help to reinforce your case. If you were in a car accident, then take pictures of the damage done to the cars involved in the accident as well as the accident scene and try to get the contact information of any witnesses. If you were in a slip and fall accident, then take pictures of the area where you fell. Pictures can help to prove the negligence of the party that was responsible for your personal injury.
Consult a Personal Injury Lawyer
You should consult with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after suffering a personal injury. They will let you know if you have a valid case and will represent you if you do. A consultation with a personal injury attorney is usually free so you do not have anything to lose by contacting one after you have suffered a personal injury. If the attorney agrees to represent you, then they will be the one who will handle the brunt of your personal injury case.
Get Medical Attention
If you were seriously hurt, then you should do this before consulting with an attorney, but getting medical attention is vital no matter when you choose to do so. Not only do you need to take care of your immediate injuries, you need to learn if you have any lingering injuries that might manifest later on. Certain injuries like whiplash or a concussion might not show any symptoms until much later.
Prompt medical attention is good both for your health and for your case; the benefits to your health are obvious but learning about any injuries that might show up later can help your case because you can get the compensation you need to take care of them. If you have any injuries that do not show up early, then you might not get enough compensation to take care of them when they do. So seek medical attention even if you do not think that you are seriously hurt.
The Investigation Begins
Once the lawyer has taken your case, they will begin gathering evidence to prove that the defendant, i.e. the party responsible for causing your personal injury, was at fault. That includes any pictures you have taken, witness testimony, police reports, surveillance footage, and any other kind of evidence that they can find. Your attorney will also set about to collecting your medical bills, repair bills, and other expenses caused by the accident. They will also find out how much income you stand to lose by being unable to work. This is so that they know how much compensation to ask for when they confront the defendant.
Sending the Demand Package
Your attorney will then send a demand letter to the opposing party. That letter contains all of the relevant information regarding your case including the liability of the defendant, your expenses, injuries, pain and suffering, and other damages. The opposing party, or their insurance company will review the letter and accept the demands, make a counteroffer, or reject them completely. If they choose the first option or make an acceptable offer, then the case ends here. If they make a counteroffer that is too low, or if they reject the demand, then you will have to file a lawsuit.
The Discovery Phase
At this point, the lawyers representing the two parties exchange all the evidence they have gathered so far in order to devise the best possible counter strategy against it. This benefits both sides as they are each able to mount a stronger defense when they know what they will be facing.
Mediation is when both parties try to resolve the case with the help of a neutral third party. This is done in order to avoid a trial because trials can be expensive, time-consuming, and unpredictable so it is in everyone’s best interest that a trial be avoided if possible.
If mediation is unsuccessful, then the case proceeds to the trial phase where the parties involved get their day in court. The length of a trial depends on the nature of the case, so the more complex the case, the longer the trial. Luckily, personal injury cases rarely make it to trial because they tend to get resolved much earlier in the process.
Get an Attorney to Help You with Your Personal Injury Case
You have the best chance of getting the compensation that you need by hiring a personal injury lawyer to represent you. Since they will do most of the heavy lifting you do not have to worry about handling the majority of the case by yourself. So make sure that one of the first things you do after experiencing a personal injury is contact an attorney; they will help you to get back on your feet.