What To Expect During Your Personal Injury Lawsuit
Whether you are dealing with medical malpractice, a dog bite, car accident, or slip and fall in a retail store, the time may come when you decide to pursue a personal injury lawsuit. While these cases can be quite complex depending upon the situation, they are certainly quite winnable if the proper steps are followed along the way. Yet since most people have never been involved in a lawsuit of this nature, they have little idea what to expect. As a result, they sometimes make mistakes that cost them significant amounts of compensation or in fact jeopardize their lawsuits even making it to court. To make sure no unexpected surprises come your way, here are some tips on what to expect during your personal injury lawsuit.
Getting Medical Treatment
While you are pursuing a personal injury lawsuit, it will be crucial you get medical treatment for any injuries you claim to have sustained from the accident. By doing so, you ensure your injuries are treated by doctors and noted in your medical records, which will be an important part of your lawsuit. Should you not get prompt treatment for your injuries, the defendant’s insurance company will be given an opening to claim you were not seriously injured in the accident.
Contacted by Insurance Companies
Once you file a personal injury lawsuit, little time will pass before you are contacted by an insurance company representing the defendant. When this happens, you should be very wary of the insurance company’s intentions. While you may think the company is attempting to help you, chances are they are trying to trick you into admitting the accident was your fault or that you suffered no serious injuries. If this tactic does not work, the company may instead offer you a financial settlement in an effort to avoid a lawsuit. However, the amount will usually not be enough to cover medical bills or lost wages, so never accept any offers until you have conferred with your personal injury attorney.
Negotiating a Settlement
While some personal injury cases do make it to a courtroom, the vast majority are settled out-of-court. Because of this, you will need to be prepared to have your attorney involved in numerous negotiating sessions with the defendant’s lawyers and insurance company. As a result, you will need to be patient, since these negotiations can often take weeks or even months to be agreed upon and finalized. Along with being patient, you will also need to maintain constant contact with your attorney, since you will need to be kept informed as to how negotiations are proceeding and what offers are on the table.
Discussing Your Case
Once a lawsuit is filed, you will need to continue to discuss the details of your case with your attorney. Since new developments can arise during a lawsuit, you and your lawyer may need to discuss new evidence that may be introduced, and also discuss what options are available to you as your case progresses. In some situations, it may be to your advantage to urge your attorney to settle out-of-court, rather than drag out the process in a courtroom and leave your fate in the hands of a judge or jury.
Staying Off Social Media
If you have filed a personal injury lawsuit, one of the first demands your attorney will ask of you is to stay off social media while your case plays out. If you ignore this advice, you may risk losing your lawsuit or having it thrown out of court. In these situations, many accident victims take to social media and vent their frustrations by posting angry comments about the defendant or others involved in the case. When this happens, their words are used against them by the defendant’s lawyers and insurance company, making it increasingly difficult to win a case. Therefore, stay off social media and stay calm until your case is resolved.