Personal Injury Tips: How to Have a Successful Case

Early Investigation Is Key to a Successful Personal Injury Case

If you or a loved one is involved in an accident and suffer a catastrophic injury, prompt discovery and preservation of key evidence can make or break your case. Choosing the right law firm may significantly improve the type of recovery you or your loved one receives, compensating for losses suffered and providing for future needs stemming from an accident. Once you obtain the right law firm, early investigation of the accident scene, and preservation of critical evidence, is paramount to a successful case.

It is important to get a law firm working for you as soon as possible after an accident occurs before evidence is lost or destroyed and while memories of the accident are fresh and uncompromised. Claims against such powerful entities as the government, including public officials and the police department, large trucking companies, and national or global corporations, to name a few, are especially difficult because evidence may be lost, hidden, or even intentionally destroyed.

When a catastrophic injury occurs, the potentially liable parties spring into immediate action to “reconstruct” the circumstances of the accident to try to understand how and why the accident occurred, and who is at fault. It’s essential to hire a law firm with a proven track record in catastrophic injury claims, with the resources and experience to take swift, responsive, and decisive action on your behalf such as:

  • Investigating the accident scene. Examining the accident scene, and taking photographs and videos of the accident scene is job one. It’s also important to examine the scene at the same time of day when the accident occurred in order to gauge the typical amount and type of traffic, and talk to anyone who regularly works or is in the area and who may have witnessed the accident.
  • Talking to witnesses and recording witness statements. Talking to eyewitnesses is important to do as soon as possible after an accident while witnesses’ facts and impressions of the accident are still fresh and uncompromised by the passage of time, or by talking to someone else who may not have your best interests in mind. If they are willing to do so, it’s also a good idea to record witness statements for future reference. The more time passes, the more details fade.
  • Obtaining surveillance videos from nearby homes and businesses. Many homes and businesses now have cameras recording what happens on their premises in the event of an attempted break-in or other violation of the property. Security videos sometimes capture the events leading up to an accident and can provide key information to either corroborate or dispute the version of events provided by a potentially liable party, or a witness. These videos must be quickly obtained, however, because recordings may be recorded over or erased if not quickly preserved.
  • Securing any recordings of 911 calls related to the accident. 911 calls may reveal a lot of information about what was happening at the time of the accident, and the state of mind of the caller, but these recordings may also only be preserved for a short period of time so they need to be requested and obtained quickly.
  • Examining vehicles involved in the accident before they are repaired or sold for scrap. The location and extent of damage on a vehicle is important for expert witnesses to know in order to give an opinion on who is at fault, and whether claimed injuries are related to the accident.
  • Hiring expert witnesses. Your attorney may want to hire expert witnesses such as medical providers, vocational experts or accident reconstruction experts, among others, are important to get involved in your case at an early stage.
  • Encouraging immediate and appropriate medical treatment and obtaining all medical records. Obtaining immediate and appropriate medical treatment is important not only to insure the best possible medical outcome from your accident, but also important to establish a history of injury caused by the accident, and all reasonable and necessary future medical treatment related to the accident.
  • If a governmental entity, trucking company, or corporation is involved, it is imperative to quickly request that all evidence related to the accident be maintained and preserved, and not destroyed, modified, altered, repaired, or changed in any manner.

Chances of Winning a Personal Injury Lawsuit

The chances of winning a personal injury lawsuit can vary depending on a number of factors, including the facts of the case and the jurisdiction in which the lawsuit is filed. In general, plaintiffs have a higher chance of winning a personal injury case when there is clear evidence of negligence or wrongdoing on the part of the defendant, and when the injuries sustained are significant. However, even with strong evidence, the outcome of a personal injury lawsuit is never certain, and plaintiffs may not always prevail.

Personal Injury lawsuits are civil legal matters, so the standard of evidence is lower than in criminal trials. The evidence that Plaintiff must provide to support its case “by a preponderance of the evidence,” which means that the evidence presented by Plaintiff must be more likely true than not true, compared to the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard in criminal trials.

Additionally, in many cases, the two sides may reach a settlement agreement out of court, where the defendant agrees to pay the plaintiff a certain amount of money to resolve the case, in order to avoid the uncertainty and costs of a trial. This can be a good option if both parties can agree on a reasonable settlement amount. It’s important to consult with an attorney who can help you evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your case and advise you on the best course of action.

Getting an experienced attorney involved early on in your case is critical to protecting your rights and your future. Your attorney will guide you step-by-step through the legal process and answer any questions you may have. The sooner you get an attorney involved, the less chance evidence will be compromised inadvertently by others, by weather, or through the passage of time. Act immediately and get the right attorney and law firm on your side. It will make a difference in your final settlement and the successful outcome of your case.