Guide to preparing for your personal injury lawsuit
Facing a personal injury lawsuit is often overwhelming. Many people lack experience with legal proceedings, and the thought of going to trial may make you nervous. As with any new experience, knowing how to prepare for a trial goes a long way toward helping you feel more confident and making sure that you receive the compensation that you need to recover.
Taking these steps puts you in a strong position for handling your case with the help of your Tampa personal injury attorney at Lorenzo & Lorenzo.
Ask your lawyer to brief you on what to expect
A lack of information often sends people’s anxiety into overdrive; getting the facts about your situation can help you feel calmer. Ask your legal team to give you a brief overview of what you should expect as you begin the process of dealing with your personal injury lawsuit.
They can give you a general timeline of events such as meetings and potential court dates that you’ll need to prepare to attend. They can also help you start to put together evidence that helps back up your claims.
Work with your doctor to implement a strong treatment plan
Proper medical care is critical for helping you recover from your injuries. Your legal team can also use the information that you receive from your doctor appointments to help develop your case. Let your lawyer know about your treatment plan along with any new diagnosis that you receive.
You’ll also want to follow your treatment plan as closely as possible to avoid potential claims from the defendant that you didn’t obey doctor’s orders.
Keep accurate and thorough records
Evidence is what helps to turn a case from a weak request into a strong claim to hold someone else responsible for their negligence. You’ll have the opportunity to gather evidence starting from the moment that the injury occurred.
For example, you can get the contact information for the other party involved in the accident along with any witnesses. Photographs taken at the scene of the accident can also be used as evidence. As your lawsuit progresses, new evidence might be added such as medical records and bills that demonstrate the severity of your injuries.
Prepare to lose some aspects of your privacy
One of the biggest challenges that people tend to face with a lawsuit is the realization that they often have to give up personal information to the defense attorney. The other party’s defense team has the right to request details about your past that may include things such as your previous year’s tax returns, medical history and employment experiences.
Knowing that you could be asked about this information helps you prepare emotionally. Your lawyer can let you know when the information is legally warranted so that you aren’t taken advantage of during the process.
Expect to have every action scrutinized
Insurance companies often hire investigators to check out large personal injury claims. An investigator might watch your actions in public spaces and take videos or photographs that can be used to weaken your personal injury case. For example, they may use a photo of you mowing the lawn to prove that your injuries don’t limit your ability to handle your daily responsibilities.
They could also use images from your social media posts to question the impact that a personal injury has on your lifestyle. Be cautious about what you do in public or post on social media. That picture might be from a vacation that you took years ago, but it could weaken your case if it looks like you went on it today.
Know how to present yourself in court
Learning how to prepare for a court appearance makes you appear more confident during the trial. You’ll first want to read through all of the paperwork surrounding the proceedings and consult with your lawyer about anything that could affect your case.
On the day of your trial, make sure to dress appropriately. Showing up early and being polite to everyone that you encounter helps to establish that you have good character and are genuinely seeking help with a true need. After the trial begins, remain calm as you answer questions.
Defense attorneys sometimes try to generate a negative reaction by asking confrontative questions, and getting angry will only diminish the strength of your case in the eyes of a jury. Try your best to keep your voice clear, calm and even. Using positive body language also helps you to project confidence and respect for the court.
Lean on your lawyer for support
Through it all, you can expect to have some tough moments along with small victories. When you hit a challenge, make sure to talk to your personal injury lawyer. They have many years of experience handling these kinds of lawsuits and can walk you through each step. Make sure that you know their preferred method for communication, and use it regularly. After all, their primary goal is to help you have a successful case.
Remember that preparation is always the best way to handle new things, and getting the facts and details surrounding your case straight gives you an edge as you progress with handling your lawsuit.