When you decide to pursue a personal injury case, you likely have many questions about the process. Ultimately, you want to know what to expect and how to best participate in preparing your case. One of your questions may be how much time you’re going to have to spend working on your case.
It can be helpful to understand the ways that you may have to be involved in the case. This can take the mystery out of the process. When you know some of the things that you may need to do, the process begins to feel more manageable.
When you work with a personal injury lawyer, they do the vast majority of the work for you. You need to prepare what are called pleadings. These are the first documents that you file in the court. Your attorney prepares these documents. They have training and experience to make sure your pleadings are accurate and that they fully request the different types of compensation that you may deserve.
Your attorney also builds your case by demanding records. They can contact experts on your behalf. They also handle negotiations with the other side. Even though your attorney does most of the heavy lifting, there are still some things you need to do in order to help your personal injury attorney prepare the strongest case possible:
Getting the facts straight
Legal documents need to be precise. Your lawyer needs accurate information about days, times, events and injuries. That means, they start by listening to you in order to get a complete picture of what happened in your case. They may have follow up questions for you to answer.
It’s important to help your attorney get the information that they need to take the next steps. When they have a question about the facts of the case or about your wishes, you need to respond to them as quickly as you can. This shouldn’t happen often, but it’s important especially at the beginning of the case.
Preparing medical records
An important part of a personal injury case is documenting your losses. This includes making an accurate record of your injuries and their costs. You may need to meet with a physician in order to have an evaluation. The other side may ask you to go to their physician too. Usually, this is not more intrusive than the medical care that you otherwise need to treat your injuries. You can work with your attorney to coordinate these evaluations in order to make them as manageable as possible.
There are also things that you may need to do during the discovery process. You may receive questions from the other side that you may need to answer. You may need to have a deposition where you talk about what happened in the case. These are important steps to building your case, but you can always work with your attorney to schedule things at your convenience. It’s important to work with your attorney to complete these things during the discovery process, because failing to respond can hurt your case.
Most personal injury cases don’t go to trial. If yours is one of the few that ends up in front of a jury, you need to attend the trial with your attorney. Don’t worry, your attorney does most of the talking and speaks to the jury. The length of the trial depends on the complexity of the case.
How an attorney can help
While your active participation in the case is certainly important, it shouldn’t be overwhelming if you work with a lawyer. You hire a personal injury attorney to do much of the work for you. Even though you need to do your part too, most of the hard parts are left to your attorney. If you need help or you have a question about your attorney’s instructions, don’t hesitate to reach out to your attorney for help. Ultimately, your attorney is your partner, and they can help you make the process as smooth as possible.