Have you suffered critical injuries or illness due to someone else’s negligent conduct? If so, you have the right to take legal action against them through a personal injury claim. The process of pursuing legal action in court is known as litigation.
However, before you can get started with your legal claim, the pre-litigation process is crucial. Your personal injury attorney will gather powerful evidence to support your case. They will deal with pre-trial procedures and work on obtaining an insurance settlement that meets your needs so you can avoid trial altogether.
What Is Pre-Litigation?
Pre-litigation involves all of the legal elements of your case before your civil lawsuit. During this phase, your lawyer will thoroughly investigate how your injuries occurred and handle some of the more important legal matters. These may include sending a personal injury demand letter or negotiating with the liable party to settle.
Some of the most critical elements of the pre-litigation process can include:
- Going over your damages to calculate the value of your claim
- Meeting with expert witnesses to determine who caused the accident and testify at trial
- Identifying witnesses or bystanders to the accident to depose or testify at trial
- Prepare opening and closing statements for your personal injury lawsuit
- Making sure to begin pre-litigation within the personal injury statute of limitations
These are only a few of our most critical pre-litigation responsibilities. Depending on the specific details of your case and how your accident occurred, there may be other responsibilities. These include working with accident reconstructionists, obtaining copies of police and crash reports, or reviewing safety inspection results.
Important Steps Before Pre-Litigation
Although the pre-litigation process is crucial, there are also initial steps you can take immediately after your accident that can help build a compelling case against the liable party from the start. These steps include:
Get a Medical Evaluation
It is vital that you obtain a medical evaluation. Your initial injuries may seem minor, but your condition could rapidly worsen if left untreated. You could also expect the liable parties to accuse you of exaggerating the impact of your injuries if you do not get medical help.
Establishing that you received treatment immediately will strengthen your claim.
In addition, having medical records after the accident will go a long way in the pre-litigation process. This documentation gives your attorney a firm footing as they work to calculate the value of your claim and prove to the defense how severely your life has been affected by your injuries.
Start Taking an Inventory of Your Damages
As soon as you have been involved in an accident, you should begin recording an inventory of how your life has been affected. You are entitled to full restitution for your emotional damages, not only economic or financial.
You can keep a personal journal detailing your daily hardships and pain levels. You should also keep copies of your pay stubs to prove loss of income, and hang onto your medical bills as they come in so you can see compensation for every medical expense related to your injuries.
Hire a Personal Injury Attorney
At the scene of the accident or after you have been declared stable by your healthcare providers, one of the most essential pre- pre-litigation tasks you will have is hiring a personal injury lawyer. Although you may be intimidated or worried about the expense, the sooner you get a personal injury lawyer on your case, the better.
Many types of evidence may only be available for a short period of time. For example, if there is video footage of the accident, it could be just days or weeks before someone deletes or records the footage you need for your claim. If you have a personal injury lawyer working on your case, you can use this valuable evidence.
The great news is you do not have to worry about covering any of the costs of pursuing your case. Your personal injury lawyer will work for you on contingency, which means anything for your legal services unless or until we win your case.
Never Post About or Discuss Your Accident Online
You must never discuss your accident, injuries, or legal case on social media or the Internet. Anything you say online could be misconstrued or taken out of context.
The last thing you need is for a social media post to be manipulated by the defense to make it seem as though you have exaggerated the extent of your injuries or accepted liability for causing the accident in some way.
What to Expect from Your Personal Injury Lawsuit in Court
Once your personal injury attorney completes the pre-litigation process, we will be ready to bring your case to trial. However, most personal injury claims are often settled before going to court. This is a good thing, as it means you can access your settlement funds without ever stepping into a courthouse.
However, let us suppose your case does need to go to trial because insurance settlements are insufficient or the liable party does not have insurance coverage. In that case, our pre-litigation process will ensure we have built a compelling claim against the responsible party.
When your case goes to trial, you can expect to be accused of sharing liability for the accident and for the defense to argue that your injuries are not as severe as you claim. This is their feeble attempt to escape financial liability and reduce their losses. However, your personal injury lawyer will be ready to advocate for your rights and ensure unwarranted blame is not placed on you.
Meet with an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Today
The pre-litigation claims process is just as essential, if not more so, than the actual civil lawsuit. Through our investigation, gathering evidence to support your case, and calculating the value of your damages, we will work tirelessly to ensure the liable party is held accountable for their negligent actions.
Get started on your pre-litigation today when you contact an experienced personal injury attorney at Shelly Leeke Law Firm for help. Please complete our online contact form or call our office to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation today.