You were in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence and hired a good personal injury lawyer. Now, you might be wondering what exactly your role is in the case.
While your lawyer is handling the legal aspects of your personal injury matter, it’s important to understand that you also have responsibilities.
Once you sign up with your attorney, your job doesn’t end there. Throughout the lawsuit, they will need your cooperation to ensure the best results are achieved — and you obtain the maximum compensation available. Not only does this mean regularly communicating with your attorney, but there are certain steps you must take to build your case.
Here are the four primary responsibilities you will have during your personal injury case:
1. Attend Your Medical Appointments
Getting the medical help you need for your accident-related injuries isn’t just beneficial for your health — it’s essential to your case. Personal injury cases are centered around proving the defendant’s liability and establishing the damages you suffered because of their negligence. But it won’t matter how badly you are hurt if you don’t have documentation to prove it.
Medical documentation is key to demonstrating your economic damages and pain and suffering. In other words, how much your case is worth is contingent upon what your medical chart shows.
2. Communicate With Your Attorney
You and your attorney are a team. You can’t expect them to build your case on their own. As your case progresses, you will need to keep them updated about your medical treatment. They should know if you’re seeing a new provider or if there have been any changes in your condition.
If your attorney contacts you, it’s vital to return their call or e-mail in a timely manner. They might need specific information from you related to your case. Or, they might be calling with a critical update.
Significantly, you must be honest when you communicate with your attorney — anything you tell them is protected by attorney-client privilege. If you fail to disclose information about the accident or your injuries, it is likely to come out later. By being upfront with your lawyer, they can find a way to use the information and develop a strategy that will work in your favor.
3. Help Your Attorney Gather Evidence
When a lawsuit is filed, both sides have the opportunity to go through the formal “discovery” process. This is the phase of litigation where the plaintiff and defendant exchange information, answer interrogatories, and attend depositions. It’s crucial to cooperate with your personal injury lawyer during this time to help them gather evidence.
Although your attorney knows how to obtain evidence such as police reports, medical records, video surveillance, insurance information, and witness statements, there might be information you can also provide them with. For example, it may be helpful to give your attorney the names of additional witnesses and their contact information, photos of your injuries, paycheck stubs showing loss of income, and any other documentation they request.
4. Document Your Case
You should document the various aspects of your case so you don’t forget the information if you need to testify about it later. It can be helpful to keep a journal to track the days you missed from work and the medical treatment you received.
In addition, write a daily summary of how your injuries affected your life and try to be as detailed as possible. For instance, was there a day you couldn’t lift the grocery bags due to your injuries or needed assistance with household chores? While these details might seem trivial to you, these are the kinds of facts that can potentially help to increase the value of your case.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
The most important thing you can do to ensure a favorable outcome in your case is to have an experienced personal injury attorney by your side. As a result of our commitment, candor, and extensive knowledge, The Edelsteins, Faegenburg & Brown LLP regularly secures substantial verdicts and significant settlements for clients.
The Edelsteins, Faegenburg & Brown LLP is a personal injury law firm dedicated to fighting for the rights of accident victims to ensure they get the monetary recovery they deserve for their injuries. Located in Manhattan, our firm has been handling personal injury cases throughout New York City since 1937. Call to schedule a free consultation at (212) 425-1999 today.