When a personal injury lawyer agrees to take your case, he or she is dedicated to putting forth your best possible case. He or she is there to support you and your claim, but there is some information that your attorney will need from you to have the best chance of winning your case.
Based on our experience practicing personal injury law in New Hampshire, we’ve compiled a list of five things your lawyer will want to know in the event you wish to pursue a personal injury case.
When did the injury occur?
Knowing what date the injury occurred is an important piece of information in any personal injury case. This can include the date of an accident or the date the injury was discovered by a medical professional. When you first meet with your attorney, he or she will want to make sure there is a way to document this date through medical records, an accident report, or other means.
How much has this accident cost you?
Your personal injury attorney will want to know if you’ve missed work due to your injury, received medical care, or incurred any other costs as a result of the accident. Part of your attorney’s job will be to compile all relevant records and calculate the cost of your injury, which will ultimately be used to help determine the amount of damages awarded to you in the event you win at trial or settle your claim.
Were you at work?
Your attorney needs to know which party may be liable for your injury before moving forward with a case. Was your injury caused by faulty equipment at your job or because of unsafe conditions? If you were injured at work, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Your personal injury lawyer can discuss with you how to proceed if your injury is work-related.
Where were you injured?
When you file a personal injury case, you must establish who is at fault. Knowing where the injury took place will help your lawyer do just that. Did the injury take place at a grocery store? If so, your attorney will need to find out who owns the store, who owns the property, and who may be responsible for any negligence that contributed to the accident. For instance, if you slipped on a wet floor the store employees had just mopped, the store owner may be liable. If you fell on a broken step entering the store, it may be the property owner who is liable. Your personal injury lawyer will be tasked with investigating who is at fault before filing a lawsuit.
Have you been contacted by anyone related to your injury?
After your injury, did anyone involved call to check up on you and see if you’re OK? Have any insurance companies reached out offering a settlement? Were the police involved in any way? Sometimes when a person is injured at someone’s home, at a place of business, or in a car accident, others involved will contact the injured party. This can be out of genuine concern. For instance, when a dog bites a child, the dog owner could be sincerely concerned about how the child is doing. On the other hand, the other party may also contact you to drop the matter and dissuade you from seeking damages.
It is important to share this information with your personal injury lawyer. Communications such as phone calls, emails, or text messages may include admission of guilt which can be helpful in negotiating a settlement or serve as evidence at trial.
Once a personal injury lawyer has agreed to take your case, expect him or her to ask these questions. At Upton & Hatfield, we want to be armed with the best information possible so we can present a strong case, whether it’s negotiating a settlement or at trial. For more information about our personal injury and accident group, or if you are looking to speak with someone about your injury, please contact us.