5 Tips to Get the Best Possible Outcome in an Accident Claim
You make a point of paying attention to all that goes on around you when on the road. You are an alert and conscientious driver. Unfortunately not everyone has the same attitude. If you have been in an accident and it was not your fault, then you should build up a case and sue the responsible party.
Murphy's Law states that what can go wrong will go wrong. Safe and considerate driving, following the rules of the road, and paying attention to the speed and direction of other vehicles are good ways of ensuring that few things will go wrong. When people dismiss these conventions, when they are reckless and negligent, the possibility of an accident increases.
Your aim should be to hold careless people accountable for their actions. To do so, you will need to hire a personal injury attorney. Before you make any official moves, you should have a legal strategy in place. A personal injury lawyer can help you develop one.
Choosing a tough, dedicated, and highly experienced lawyer will help you win your case. However, you also have an important role in the matter. Here are 5 tips to get the best possible outcome in an accident claim:
- Preserve Evidence
If your case goes to trial, it will be decided by a jury; and they will decide whether to offer you a decent settlement based on the strength of the case you present them. You should do your best to gather and preserve as much evidence as you can from the scene of the accident. You should take photos with your phone and get the contact information of witnesses.
It can be difficult to do this sort of thing if you were severely injured and hospitalized. If that is the situation, your lawyer will need to file a motion to get copies of the photos taken by police. Your lawyer may also be able to subpoena photos taken by witnesses and bystanders.
- Seek Medical Treatment
Even if you have only suffered a slight bump on the head, you should seek medical treatment straightaway after the accident. Your injury may be more serious than you think. You are not a medical professional, and so you should not make assumptions about the state of your health after an accident.
You must ensure that your medical provider documents everything. This should include a recommended treatment plan, which you should follow. The medical documentation should also contain any necessary physical therapy and treatment prescriptions for things like post-traumatic stress disorder.
- Value Your Claim Properly
The entire point of tort law is to give ordinary people a means through which to seek compensation from persons who have injured or wronged them in some way. With this in mind, you should take into account the various damages that your body, your mind, and your finances have sustained because of the injury.
You should claim for the medical expenses you’ve incurred and the many hours of wages you have lost. If you have lost the use of certain bodily functions, you should add that to your claim. If you have been forced to take a lower-paying job or to work fewer hours, this has a value that can be monetized. You can also claim for emotional and mental suffering. The injuries you sustain in an accident can turn your life upside down. It can bring severe emotional trauma and stress to your family. You should be compensated for such travail. In fact, it is often the case that the biggest part of a jury settlement is for the pain and suffering of the victim.
- Stay Off Social Media
You may be tempted to share news of your injury on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Don’t do it. Such posts will lead to questions about your injury. You will then be lured into answering these, and this can put your entire case in jeopardy. What you post on social media can be used against you by the legal team of the other side. When it comes to everything having to do with your injury and lawsuit, your lawyer must be the sole spokesperson.
You should also stop posting photos of you, the people you know, and the places you travel to. Even if you are not in the photo, the respondent to your lawsuit can claim that your injuries are not as severe as you claim. Photos of parties, celebratory dinners, and exotic locations will make the jury doubt the veracity of your claim to be injured.
Your best move is to stay off social media until the trial is over.
- Make A Good Impression
Juries make decisions based on their impression of the claimant. You want to make them sympathize with you. The best way to do that is to appear as respectable and decent as you can. Always dress well. Be respectful. When you are on the stand, answer all questions simply, directly, and calmly. Do not be taunted and baited by the other side. Nor should you be baited by news media reports and rumours. Again, let your lawyer respond to all such gossip.
It is also a good idea to have your family in the audience. The jury members will be watching you closely. They will scrutinize your every move. The way you interact with your family can influence the way jurors think about you.
These are just some of the many things you can do to help yourself during a jury trial. You will be into the spotlight. Everything that you do before and during the trial will be closely monitored. In the end, your lawyer has to prove that there was an accident, that it was the result of someone else’s recklessness or negligence, and that you have suffered terribly because of it. Your lawyer is well trained to put that kind of argument together in a persuasive way. However, you must do your part to ensure that the evidence and your personal behavior back up the story they will tell.