To assist your attorney in preparing your personal injury case, there are certain do’s and don’ts that clients should observe to be good team members. Let’s discuss a few of them.
How You Can Help Your Personal Injury Lawyer
Be transparent with your attorney.
Speaking with your attorney is an opportunity to tell your whole story in an honest and frank manner. Your attorney is your advocate and will not judge you if you share unflattering information. Our attorneys really do want to hear all the details. Your attorney is legally obligated to keep what you share about the personal injury case confidential as part of attorney-client privilege. Tell us everything about your accident, from what you were doing before the accident to how the injury has affected your life. If we know the full story, we can prepare to handle problem issues if they arise. If the other side has negative information about you that we don’t know and the opposing attorney decides to use the information against you in court, that can jeopardize your case and your recovery. Don’t let that happen. Be candid with your attorney.
Ask your attorney questions.
We want to answer your questions. If there is something you don’t understand about your personal injury case, ask your lawyer to explain it. We’ll try to keep you up to date about what will happen next and why. However, you should not hesitate to ask about anything that isn’t clear. The better you understand your case and how it will proceed, the more you can help us help you.
Follow your doctor’s orders.
Your legal case revolves around how badly you were injured. People who are badly injured spend a lot of time in doctor’s offices and in rehabilitation. If you miss doctor’s appointments or skip physical therapy, you make it easier for the insurance company to argue that you were not seriously hurt. Go to all your doctor appointments. Get prescriptions filled and take your meds. Go to rehab and do your exercises. You and your personal injury claim will get better and stronger.
Keep your case to yourself.
Insurance companies work hard to reduce the amount of money they pay out to resolve injury claims. Anything you say to the insurer about your claim may be used against you, even if it’s not what you intended. You should only speak to your attorney about your claim and to your doctors and therapists about your injuries. Don’t talk to the insurance company adjuster. Refer the adjuster to your attorney. Don’t get into conversations about your case with family and friends. Tell them you can’t talk about it. Do not post anything to Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, or any online social media. Opposing lawyers can search the web and gain access to your comments on social media, even if you have tried to restrict access.
Cooperate with the discovery process.
If your case does not settle early and instead becomes a formal lawsuit, each side will be allowed to gather evidence through the discovery process. You will be required to answer questions in a deposition. Interrogatories are written questions opposing lawyers may present. A deposition is an oral statement provided under oath in response to questions from an opposing attorney.
Our attorneys will prepare you ahead of time for the types of questions you may expect. We will attend the deposition with you and object to improper questions. A court reporter will record the questions and answers and prepare a transcript that will be shared with both sides. You will be asked many of the same questions twice, possibly including some that seem foolish or pointless. But you must cooperate for your lawsuit to move forward.
Respond to your attorney promptly.
Now and then, we will have questions for you or documents for you to sign to authorize us to take action required for your case. The sooner you respond, the faster your case can progress. As we get to know you, we’ll come to know a little about your schedule and when it is best to reach you. But we want to work together to keep things moving forward as smoothly as possible.
Personal injury cases can take a lot of time to resolve. First, you need to complete your medical treatment so we know the full extent of medical costs. This will help us determine the fair value of your personal injury case. Our investigation to determine who should be held accountable for your injuries may take several months. If your case cannot be settled, there are many steps to a formal lawsuit headed to trial, and some cases take several years to complete. Most cases can be settled outside of court. Even then, the settlement may not occur until the case is ready to go to trial.
Contact Our Palm Coast Personal Injury Attorneys
There is a lot that goes into a successful personal injury claim, and much of the work requires the client’s participation. If you have been injured in an accident in South Florida that someone else caused, contact a personal injury attorney from Chiumento Law for a free assessment of your case.
At Chiumento Law, our attorneys handle cases involving medical malpractice, premises liability, car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, boating accidents, and construction accidents. We have been helping accident victims in Volusia and Flagler counties since 1973. We have the experience, skills, and resources needed to help you seek the full compensation available by law. Give us a call at (386) 445-8900 or fill out our online contact form now for a free, no-obligation legal consultation.