If you’ve been hurt in a car accident, hiring a lawyer is one of the best ways to ensure that you get all the compensation you legally deserve. But it’s important to keep in mind that YOU play an important role in the outcome.
Here are 6 easy ways to have a positive influence on your car accident case:
1. Tell your lawyer the whole story, even the embarrassing stuff. Too many people make the mistake of withholding important details from their attorney because they’re embarrassed or afraid that they might have done something wrong. This is a huge mistake.
An experienced car accident lawyer knows how to work with all the facts and how to present less flattering details in a way that minimizes any impact on your case. On the other hand, if your attorney learns of potentially unfavorable details from the other side, it can be devastating to your case.
Remember, anything you say to your attorney is protected by attorney-client privilege; whatever you say is strictly confidential. As a general rule, it’s best to be upfront from the start. This gives your attorney the chance to investigate and prepare to disprove any potentially negative accusations.
2. Go to doctor’s appointments – and follow doctor’s orders. Getting healthy should be your first priority. Missing doctor’s appointments and ignoring your doctor’s advice isn’t going to cut it.
For your health – and for the health of your case – take medical visits and your doctor’s recommendations seriously. Failing to do so can be a detriment to your health — and could send the signal to the other side that you really aren’t hurt.
3. Fill out all necessary forms and return them on time. There will be a number of forms that you will need to complete once you start a personal injury claim.
Throughout the duration of your case, you may also need to provide your lawyer with insurance documentation and medical reports. All of this paperwork is necessary to move your case along, and some forms may have deadlines to file. Be sure to complete any forms in full and on time to avoid a delay in progress.
4. Lay off Facebook and Twitter until your case is closed. Things you say in a post, tweet or status update says a lot about your physical, emotional and mental wellbeing.
If you have a serious personal injury claim and tweet about going snowboarding or post pictures of yourself on a rollercoaster, it could be used against you. Insurance companies are infamous for using private investigators to follow people who have filed personal injury claims; they can do the same thing in cyberspace.
Security settings may not be as effective as you think, so it’s best to curtail or completely stop any social media activity until your car accident case is closed.
5. Listen well and ask questions. The goal of your lawyer is to help you maximize your car accident claim.
What your lawyer asks you to do – or not do – is based on this goal, as well as his or her experience with car accident cases and knowledge of the law. To achieve the best possible outcome, it’s important that you not only ask questions but also listen to and cooperate with your lawyer.
6. Be patient during the process. A car accident case takes time. Your attorney has to gather police reports, interviews from witnesses and medical reports.
This won’t happen overnight. And because injuries are involved, your injuries must be confirmed by a physician, (one reason why it’s so important to keep all scheduled doctor visits). Insurance companies are notoriously slow when it comes to making payments, so keep that in mind, too.
Finally, you should be wary of any attorney who tries to quickly settle your case; this could mean you wind up with less compensation than you really deserve.
If you’re still considering whether or not to hire a lawyer for your car accident case, give us a call. Our attorneys have years of experience and excellence.