Winning a personal injury case generally requires you to prove negligence. Here, using evidence, you must demonstrate that another party’s negligence caused your accident and injuries. Yet, proving negligence can get complicated—especially if you’ve never filed a personal injury claim before. This is why many claimants choose to partner with injury lawyers.
A personal injury lawyer can help you recover damages. Here, you can learn about the benefit of partnering with an attorney and what it could mean for your case’s outcome.
You Could Win a Personal Injury Case With a Lawyer’s Help
You can hire a personal injury lawyer at any point following your accident to guide you through the claims process. Many claimants feel that having a lawyer “levels the playing field” when negotiating with insurance companies and other parties.
Lawyers are knowledgeable about the state and federal laws that affect personal injury cases, including the laws that govern insurance practices. An attorney can combat deceptive or intimidating insurance tactics that threaten
An attorney can:
Offer Their Help on a Contingency-Fee Basis
It may cost you nothing out of pocket to hire a lawyer. That’s because many personal injury lawyers work on a contingency-fee basis. Payment for their time and efforts depends on your case’s outcome.
This arrangement means:
- You don’t pay any upfront fees or costs.
- You owe nothing if your case doesn’t succeed.
- You can afford legal help regardless of your financial standing.
When you secure legal help on contingency, you agree to the payment’s terms in writing. That way, you know what to expect from the very beginning of your partnership.
Investigate Your Accident
Whether you suffered injuries in a collision or another incident, you need evidence to support your case. This information can include the police report, eyewitness testimony, and statements from your doctor. While dealing with serious injuries, you might have problems collecting these items on your own. Yet, a lawyer can find and use evidence to secure compensation for your losses.
File Your Insurance Claim
Filing an insurance claim can get complicated—especially if you’re not sure who holds liability for your losses. This is where you could benefit from hiring an injury lawyer. They can file your claim, handle communications with claims adjusters, and negotiate for what you need. As noted, they can also protect you from any unfair insurance practices that prevent you from recovering fair compensation.
File Your Lawsuit Within the State’s Statute of Limitations
All personal injury cases come with filing deadlines. How long you have to file your case depends on many factors. However, the biggest factor may depend on where you live. Some states have shorter filing periods than others. For instance, in Louisiana, you generally have a year to file your lawsuit. In other states, the law grants two years to file a lawsuit.
By filing your case within the appropriate statute of limitations, you uphold your right to seek compensation from the liable party. By missing this deadline, you could lose the right to hold the at-fault party financially accountable for your damages.
Manage Litigation and All Trial Proceedings
Odds are, you won’t have to file a lawsuit to recover compensation for your injury-related expenses. Yet, if so, a lawyer can manage your lawsuit’s obligations, which includes filing it in court and completing a trial.
Take Photos and Videos to Support Your Claim
Having documented proof of the accident and the damages you suffered is crucial to winning a personal injury case. In addition to hiring a lawyer to manage your case, you may consider:
Gathering Proof of Your Injuries
Take photos of your physical injuries. You need to document any bruises, cuts, scrapes, swelling, broken bones, or visits to the hospital or doctors. Photo evidence is compelling proof of harm. Do this as soon as you notice external symptoms and as your injuries evolve or change.
The appearance of some injuries gets worse over time before they heal. You’ll want to capture the height of the damage, not just the onset. For example, bruises may appear as red spots at first, but over time, the blood under the skin tends to pool and intensify into a deep purple, black, blue, or green color. A photo of a serious contusion can show its severity to the insurer.
Also, record videos of your injuries, if possible. This allows you to add commentary on how you feel and provide a more dynamic, real-life look into your injuries. You can also use video to capture your day-to-day struggles and routines. Many attorneys make hospital and home visits after an initial phone consultation. So, if you or a loved one cannot take photos, your lawyer could do it for you.
Documenting the Accident Scene
You should also have photos of the location and conditions under which the accident occurred. For instance, after a collision, you should take photos and videos of the accident scene. This may include capturing the names of streets, unfilled potholes, and the other car’s damage.
After a slip and fall, you could take photos of the puddle of water you slipped on at the grocery store. Use a camera to document anything you see that can indicate how the accident or incident happened.
Write Down the Details of Your Accident
While the accident is still fresh in your mind, you should make notes about what happened. You can write them down, type them in a note-taking app on your phone, or record a video. You don’t want to forget anything important. Even the smallest detail can help your lawyer advance your case.
Describe the location of the accident and anything you remember about how it occurred, who contributed to it, and any symptoms you experience. There’s no such thing as a minor detail when it comes to your case. You would rather have too much evidence than not enough of it.
Seek Treatment From a Healthcare Provider
You should always seek medical attention after an accident. Not only does this address your condition, but your lawyer can use medical documentation to secure damages.
This documentation may consist of:
- The results of any imaging scans, such as x-rays or blood tests
- Testimony from your doctor
- Your medical records
- Your hospital intake records
- The names of any prescriptions
- Your treatment plan
The other party will want to confirm that your injuries are real. Some will even go as far as denying that your injuries resulted from the accident in question. With proper documentation, your lawyer can counter any false claims that threaten your case’s progression.
Complete Medical Treatment Before Making a Claim for Compensation
When you receive proper medical treatment, a professional can diagnose your condition and determine how it occurred and when. As noted, without proof of your injuries, an insurance company will not pay the money you want.
You should finish medical treatment before making a demand for compensation, as your level of recovery will determine whether you still need treatment. The injury lawyer handling your case can factor future healthcare costs into your personal injury claim and negotiate for a fair outcome.
Gather Proof of Your Financial Losses
Economic damages are dollar-for-dollar, meaning the amount you receive should match the amount you lost due to the accident. If you had $11,000 in lost wages, you should receive $11,000 for those losses. Proving the amount you lost is crucial to winning a fair personal injury settlement.
Personal injury lawyers know the evidence needed to support claims.
Evidence of your financial losses may include:
- Medical bills
- Receipts for required supplies, goods, and services resulting from the accident
- Lost income documents, such as pay stubs, invoices, bank statements, timesheets, etc.
- Property repair estimates
- Diminished value estimates
- Mental health counseling or therapy bills
- Related expenses and documentation
Your lawyer can use this financial documentation to calculate your total economic expenses. Without proof, the liable insurer may not take your case seriously. Moreover, your economic losses may affect the amount of money you recover for pain and suffering. The attorney filing your claim can explain further what evidence can support your claim.
Demonstrate Your Pain and Suffering
If you need a personal injury lawyer to represent you in your case and to win a personal injury case, you should also have proof of your pain and suffering. Sometimes, documenting your experiences following the accident can provide the necessary support. Injury victims can keep journals of their daily activities and thoughts.
Your attorney may also use the written testimony of friends, family, coworkers, or employers who can attest to the struggles you have gone through or the changes in your life, mindset, mood, relationships, or work since the incident occurred. Your medical evidence also provides support for non-economic damages, as the severity of your injuries speaks to your level of pain and suffering.
Know How to Speak to Insurers
Winning a personal injury case also hinges on your ability to effectively communicate with insurers and opposing parties. Many insurance adjusters will use your words against you to save their employer money. You should think twice about talking to an insurance company representative without your lawyer present.
Be careful how you answer questions. Adjusters know how to elicit responses they can take out of context and manipulate. They may get you to agree to or confirm information that supports their goals. They may even twist your words into something you didn’t mean.
When speaking with an insurance company, do not provide details about your medical history. You should also avoid any discussion of blame or admit even a portion of fault. If you appear to hold blame for the accident, you could inadvertently reduce your compensation.
Gather Evidence of Negligence
The other party is only financially responsible for the harm you suffered if you can prove they caused your accident or injuries. You’ll have to show that they acted negligently or intentionally. Most of the time, someone else is at fault due to negligence, which is the failure to exercise proper care. The law in every state recognizes negligence as a cause of action.
By keeping all documentation related to your case, you can help your legal team prove negligence.
To win a personal injury case based on negligence, your lawyer must prove:
- Duty of care. First, your lawyer must show that the at-fault party had a duty to use reasonable care or caution. For example, all motorists must drive carefully and obey traffic rules.
- Breach of duty. The other party failed to uphold their duty of care. For instance, a speeding motorist violates their civil obligation to keep others safe.
- Causation. The other party’s negligence directly led to your accident or injury. Without their failure to exercise care, your injuries would not have occurred.
- Damages. The accident or incident resulted in your bodily, psychological, and/or financial harm, and you can prove it.
Not every case requires you to prove negligence. For instance, if you claim that a faulty product caused your injuries, you must only show that the item hurt you.
What Evidence Should I Gather to Prove Negligence?
As mentioned, you must prove each of the elements listed above to seek financial recovery.
Evidence your lawyer can use to prove negligence includes:
- Police reports
- Surveillance videos
- Cellphone videos
- Photos of the accident scene’s conditions
- Witness statements
- Other evidence to determine fault
Winning a personal injury case is no small feat. All the evidence, energy, and experience required can leave you feeling overwhelmed and out of your depth if you don’t have guidance. An injury lawyer not only guides you through filing a personal injury claim, but they also take care of the entire process.
Hiring a good Atlanta personal injury law firm‘s attorney can help you secure the compensation you need and deserve after someone else hurts you.