Once you have suffered from a car accident, your injuries may make it difficult to handle any resulting insurance claims or lawsuits on your own. This is exactly why personal injury attorneys exist; to take the burden of dealing with these important and complex situations off of you and allow you time to get better and get your life back to normal again. You are not completely left out of the plan, however; your attorney needs you to participate in this process to help ensure that your case is as successful as possible. If you can take part in the ways listed below, you could see a quicker, easier and more financially fair outcome of your case.
Get your attorney started and up to speed as soon as possible. While you are still injured, it may be difficult to contemplate dealing with the many tasks before you, but before you place your case in your attorney's hands you must show up at that first appointment with a good amount of information. Your attorney needs to get a quick and comprehensive idea of how well your case might proceed, so bring along the following important pieces of information.
- Insurance information from both you and the other driver (names, policy numbers and carriers).
- Any accident or police reports you have. These may be available a few days or so after the wreck from the responding agency. For example, contact the city police for city limits accidents, the county sheriff's office for rural accidents, the state police for freeway accidents.
- The contact information of all involved parties and any eye witnesses to the wreck.
- A summary of your medical expenses up to now.
- The damage to your vehicle and estimates.
- Proof of income, such as pay stubs. If you missed any work related to the accident you are entitled to money damages to replace it.
Follow your attorney's advice to the letter. There are good reasons to listen carefully to your attorney. For example, if they advise you not to speak to the other side's insurance adjuster, heed the advice. That adjuster will offer you a settlement and ask for a recorded statement, and what you say during that call could harm your case and reduce your money award.
Be forthright with your attorney. Remember, your attorney cannot reveal anything you say, but if you fail to be honest you could be harming your case. Give your attorney the head's up they need to prepare for every eventuality.
Keep your own notes and journal. The personal injury process can be surprisingly long, and often you may be challenged to remember details about the accident and your resulting medical treatments. The sooner you begin making notes about your experience, the better you will be at recalling those details when needed for the deposition or trial.
Speak to a law firm like Fitzsimmons & Vervaecke Law Firm for more details.