Preparedness is key to a strong personal injury case. Your legal team must assemble the proper documents, anticipate the defense’s arguments, and follow strict deadlines. Today’s post will present a brief checklist outlining what you will need in most personal injury cases. We’ll also offer advice on how to present your case to a prospective attorney.
Immediately After the Accident
After an accident, your health should be your number one priority. However, to preserve any potential legal options you have, you or another person you trust should also begin to gather information about the accident, including:
- Photos of the accident scene
- Pictures of injuries you sustained
- Contact information for multiple prospective witnesses
- Insurance information for everyone involved
You should also receive a medical examination as soon as possible, whether from paramedics at the scene or at a nearby hospital. For pursuing the compensation you deserve, it’s crucial to discover all injuries you sustained, even those that aren’t immediately apparent.
Read more: Why Posting On Social Media After An Accident Can Hurt Your Case
Other Documents You’ll Need
The documentation you use in a personal injury case should detail your costs from the accident, share how your injuries impact your quality of life, and show that another party caused your injuries through negligence. You and your lawyer will obtain the following:
- Copies of medical records and bills
- Pay stubs to estimate lost wages
- Invoices for property repair or alterations
- Receipts for other recovery-related expenses
- Police reports giving an objective view of the accident
- Witness accounts
- Opinions from subject matter experts
Know the Deadlines
In Rhode Island, you have three years from the day of your accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. Your legal team will want to stay as far ahead of the deadline as possible. Filing a lawsuit gives them additional tools to obtain evidence and puts extra pressure on the defense to negotiate a settlement.
How to Get a Lawyer to Take Your Case
When evaluating a prospective case, a lawyer will consider the underlying facts, your odds of a good outcome, and whether they’d be a good fit for you. It is ultimately their decision to take or reject a case. However, if you follow the tips below, you will have the best possible chance of securing their representation:
- Choose the right lawyer or firm – Some attorneys and firms focus on a specific type of personal injury law, such as car accidents, medical malpractice, product defects, or class-action suits. If the nature of your case aligns with your lawyer’s professional interests, they may be more inclined to offer you representation.
Read more: Five Essential Qualities of The Best Personal Injury Lawyer in Rhode Island
- Don’t wait to call – The sooner you seek consultations after your accident, the greater appeal your case will have to lawyers. If you are close to the statutory filing deadline, not only will they have less time to prepare, but they may perceive that the case isn’t a serious matter in your eyes.
- Be forthright and honest – Honesty is imperative in any lawsuit. Exaggerating claims, speculating about the accident, or making false statements will harm your case. Trust in the attorney-client relationship is a mutual responsibility. If a lawyer does not perceive someone is honest in their initial meeting, they may decline to take their case.
- Provide only what the lawyer asks for – The lawyer will ask you questions about your case to determine its potential for success. You should be specific, referring to the documentation you have already acquired about the accident. However, you should not provide copies of documentation to the attorney or their representatives unless they ask you.
Lawyers may decline cases for any reason, including:
- They believe the chances of a successful outcome are low.
- The case has complicating factors making it difficult to pursue.
- They have a conflict of interest.
- They don’t believe their experience or focus would fit your case.
- They are busy pursuing other cases and cannot give your case the time required.
If a lawyer declines your case, that doesn’t mean it won’t be successful. They may offer you advice on how to build your case further, or they may refer you to another legal team that might be a better fit.
Contact Law Offices of Ronald J. Resmini, Accident & Injury Lawyers, Ltd. For A Free Consultation
If a negligent party injured you, the personal injury attorneys of the Law Offices of Ronald J. Resmini, Accident & Injury Lawyers, Ltd. could help you understand your legal options. We’re a family-owned practice with decades of experience representing clients in Providence and throughout the Ocean State.
For a free case review with one of our seven attorneys, contact our office at (401) 751-8855.