While car wreck victims can often take advantage of a settlement offer, many end up taking their personal injury cases to trial. While it's true that your lawyer will mount a convincing case and try to win your claim, there are a few things you should be doing to help, and they need to be done before you go to trial. Read on to learn more.
Be Ready to Speak About Your Experience
The legal process can move like molasses, so don't be surprised if your case begins several months post-accident. This can mean that details and emotions connected to the accident that you thought you'd never forget are now a bit fuzzy in your mind. If you've been keeping a journal about your accident and recovery process, good on you. Now you have a reliable way to relive the event and be ready to answer questions under oath. If not, you still likely have resources available to you. Take a look at some of the following and refresh your memory:
- The police or accident report from the scene of the accident
- Medical reports, bills, records, receipts, and so on
- Photographs of your injuries and the vehicles
- Witness statements
Be Upfront and Honest Before It's Too Late
Attorney-client privilege is not just a myth and knowing how this law protects you might encourage some openness before it's too late. You can, and should, disclose information about your past to your attorney -- the sooner, the better. If there is anything you would rather not see brought up in the upcoming trial about your past history of employment, arrests, relationship issues, money troubles, and legal woes, you'd best come clean now. Being blindsided during the trial is no way to let your lawyer in on your past and being forewarned, in this instance, just makes good sense.
You're Under Surveillance
Insurance companies not only dislike paying out on car accident claims, but they also do everything in their power to avoid it and to reduce the amount paid. They employ various methods to reduce their financial liability, and one of those is surveillance on plaintiffs with open claims. A huge part of your money damage award is based on your medical condition and injuries, and this issue has close ties with your pain and suffering award.
If you are recorded performing physical feats that you should not be able to easily perform because of your injuries, then your case can be irreparably damaged. This has nothing to do with fraud; it has to do with catching you on a good day and using the footage to skew the court's judgment. Take care when out in public to avoid accidentally ruining your case.
Talk to an experienced injury lawyer for more trial preparation tips.