If you have suffered injuries in an accident, you may want to obtain justice and file a claim to hold the negligent party accountable. A claim may help provide funds to pay your medical bills and your monthly expenses while you are off work recovering. Your first step toward achieving this goal is to hire an experienced personal injury attorney who has handled similar cases and has a track record of success in settling and trying these cases. However, you can help your attorney achieve the best possible results.
Take These Steps to Assist Your Attorney
If you have never needed to use a lawyer’s services before, you probably have no idea how to work with him or what you can do to help prove your case. Here are some basic ways that you can make your attorney’s job easier:
- Be honest. Your communications with your attorney are protected by the attorney-client privilege. It is important that you are honest with your attorney when discussing your accident and injuries—even if you did something that you worry was wrong or suffered a prior injury to the same body part. Your attorney cannot effectively represent you if he does not have all of the facts, or worse—discovers damaging information in the middle of negotiating your settlement.
- Follow-up medical care. Because you are seeking compensation for your injuries, it is critical that you follow your doctor’s advice regarding your medical care and that you go to all of your appointments. When you have gaps in your medical care or missed appointments, it can lead to an argument with the insurance adjuster about the seriousness of your injuries and can weaken the value of your claim.
- Only discuss your case with your attorney. You only want to discuss your case with your attorney. The insurance company for the negligent party may find out your statements to family, friends, and co-workers and try to use them against you to deny or reduce your claim.
- Be careful on social media sites. If you continue to use social media sites, such as Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, watch what you say and what pictures you post. Do not discuss the accident or your injuries and avoid posting pictures or locations that suggest you are doing something that you are too injured to do. The insurance company may search your social media sites at various times during your claim to look for damaging posts.
- Provide documents. Your attorney may need you to complete forms and provide documentation regarding your medical bills, treatments, and wage losses through his work on your case. Keep your documents organized and provide them promptly so that your case can progress smoothly and as quickly as possible.
- Return calls. Just like you want and deserve to have your calls and emails returned promptly by your lawyer, he expects the same from you. When he contacts you, he most likely needs information from you to move forward in your case or needs to update you on the progress that he is making.
- Be patient. Even if you respond quickly to your attorney’s requests, other reports—such as medical, police, and accident reports—may take longer to obtain. In addition, if you have not fully recovered from your injuries, your attorney may wait until you reach your maximum medical recovery or receive a final prognosis from your doctor so that he can determine your future medical expenses and lost wages before negotiating your settlement.
- Ask questions. If you do not understand something about your case or its status, ask your attorney. He should be able to answer any questions and keep you updated about the progress in your case. The more that you understand about your case and your attorney’s strategies, the better you will be able to help him.
Do you need to file a personal injury claim due to a car accident, slip and fall accident, or other incident caused by a party’s fault? Our experienced personal injury attorneys are here to fight for the compensation that you deserve. Start an online chat to schedule your free consultation to learn more.