5 Things a Personal Injury Lawyer Needs to Know About Your Case
A personal injury lawsuit can be incredibly complex, from proving fault to assessing damages.
That's why, in many cases, those who have been injured in an accident turn to a personal injury lawyer for help. Before your lawyer can start working on your case, however, he or she will have a few important questions about what happened.
What facts will your personal injury lawyer need to know? Here are five:
- When the injury occurred. Knowing the date the injury occurred or when an injury was first learned of (such as diagnosis by a medical professional) is of paramount importance. A state's statute of limitations will generally require that lawsuits be filed within a set period of time following an accident or injury; if that time period has passed, you may be out of luck.
- Medical bills, lost wages, or expenses have you incurred as a result of the injury. Determining how much your personal injury case is worth will depend on the amount of damages that can be proven. Items that may help your lawyer determine this include: medical bills, dates of work missed due to injuries, receipts for repairing damages, and receipts for other expenses incurred as a result of the accident or injury.
- Whether the (potential) defendant was "on the job" at the time of the accident or injury. The potential defendants in a personal injury lawsuit may include more than just the person who may appear to be at fault, such as the other driver in a car accident. For example, if the potential defendant in a personal injury lawsuit was "on the job" at the time he or she caused your injury, that person's employer may be liable for your injuries as well.
- Where the injury occurred. Where the injury or accident occurred may also determine which person or entity may be held liable for your injuries. If you are injured in another person's home or place of business, the owner or tenant of the property may be liable under the legal theory of premises liability.
- Whether any of the people involved have contacted you. Any contact that has been made by other parties involved in the accident -- such as texts, phone calls, or e-mails that may include admissions of fault -- may be helpful in settlement negotiations or as evidence at a trial. In addition, be sure to bring any correspondence from the other party's insurance company or attorney.
To learn more about injury lawsuits involving car accidents, medical malpractice, dangerous products, and more, check out FindLaw's section on Accidents and Injuries.