Personal injury lawsuits are an incredibly powerful way for victims of any type of accident caused by negligence to hold the negligent party accountable and to secure compensation for the injuries and losses sustained from that accident. However, as with many matters overseen by the courts, personal injury lawsuits can be complicated, drawn-out matters, and not being fully prepared before stepping foot in a courtroom can cause a plaintiff to lose his case.
In the initial states of a personal injury lawsuit, the plaintiff will have to attend a hearing, during which he will present evidence of the defendant’s negligence to the court. If the court finds that the plaintiff has adequate evidence to proceed, then the case will move forward (either to court-ordered mediation or arbitration; alternately, a trial date may be set). Given the fact that personal injury cases play out in this manner, it’s critical that plaintiffs are fully prepared for this initial hearing to ensure that their case moves forward. Here are some tips on how to be prepared for the initial stages of a personal injury lawsuit:
- Document your memory of what happened: Shortly after the car accident, slip-and-fall accident or any event that is the basis of your personal injury claim, be sure to write a detailed description of what exactly took place. Be sure to include the day, date and approximate time of the event, as well as the precise location of the event. Your written description should also include what happened immediately before, during and after the incident in question. Taking the time to document the event will prevent you from forgetting important details when your case goes to court months later.
- Take pictures (when possible): Photos of the scene of the accident, as well as the injuries you have sustained or damage to your property (such as in the event of a motor vehicle accident), can be extremely powerful pieces of evidence – particularly if your case goes to trial months after the injuries have already healed.
- Gather all pertinent paperwork: Documents that will be relevant to your case will include all medical bills related to treatment of your injuries, any forms or correspondence with your (or the defendant’s) insurance company, police reports, etc. Failing to collect all appropriate paperwork could not only affect the outcome of the case, but it could also cause you to receive a lesser settlement than you deserve.
Given all of the prep work that needs to be done before a personal injury lawsuit – as well as the fact that plaintiffs will likely be focused on recovering from their injuries, it’s essential that victims work with experienced Denver personal injury lawyers who can help them mount the strongest possible case. If you or a loved one is considering filing a personal injury lawsuit, contact the trusted attorneys at the Law Office of Mike Hulen, PC by calling (303) 932-8666.