6 Things to Know Before Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit in California
California personal injury law allows accident and injury victims to bring lawsuits and claims against the wrongdoers responsible for causing them harm. Also, considering the statute of limitations of two years from the injury date, victims need to act quickly to bring their claims.
However, it does not mean you should jump into a lawsuit without proper consideration. So, suppose you have been injured in a car crash or went through medical malpractice. In that case, you must consider all of your options fast before you decide to afford this financial burden just because your family and friends are telling you to seek out a professional personal injury attorney for your loss of income or personal injuries.
Going through a personal injury lawsuit is complicated and confusing, regardless of what you decide. Also, to give yourself a fighting chance at winning your injury case, you first need to consider a few things and prepare for what is to come.
So, what are the things you must know before filing a personal injury lawsuit in California? Let’s find out!
1. The Sooner You Call, the Better
Remember, a personal injury attorney is responsible for guarding you against such costly mistakes as giving out too much information to claims adjusters or maybe failing to document your injury. The job of personal injury lawyers is to guide you through tricky legal formalities and procedures as they communicate on your behalf with the insurance company. Thus, the sooner you reach out to a lawyer, the more likely you will recall particular details about the incident or injury, witness information, or other evidence.
2. The Two Ways To Win Your Case
As necessary it is to hire only a professional and experienced personal injury lawyer; the same consideration should also be given that personal injury cases are mostly ruled on at trial or settled out of court.
A settlement is like an agreement between the defendant and plaintiff about the amount of compensation the plaintiff is liable to receive. However, a verdict is a decision made by a jury or judge following court proceedings. It means that even if the settlement is not yet reached, your attorney still has ways to recover your desired compensation.
3. Personal Injury Cases Take Time
As stated earlier, these cases are complex, and thus, trials and settlements can even take months, if not years. To compound matters, today’s insurance companies often drag out the entire process believing that the victim will eventually cave or settle for a lowball offer.
Therefore, it is crucial never to settle your case for less than your injury case is worth. A professional and dedicated attorney can help you resolve your case efficiently and quickly while helping you achieve the best outcome.
4. Review the Facts Before Valuing a Claim
A variety of factors may influence the value of your claim. For instance, the circumstances surrounding the accident or the severity of the injury. Thus, until you have thoroughly reviewed the facts of your case, don’t guess how much a claim is worth. However, you may seek the assistance of your attorney to fully understand how to value your claim and how to fight for that fair compensation at trial.
5. Collect All Possible Evidence
Whether you suffered a car accident or you were a victim of medical malpractice, gather all the required information to prove the wrongdoer’s negligence. The evidence you would need may include:
- Photos of your injuries
- Photos of the scene
- Medical records
- Witness information (addresses, phone numbers, and names)
- Insurance companies contact information
- Information of the defendant (address, phone number, and name)
- Receipt of all or any money spent on your injuries
Once all of the information and evidence is compiled, your injury lawyer can fill out the complete paperwork needed to file the lawsuit. Also, as per California’s law, all the paperwork must get filed within two years of the incident.
6. Avoid Discussing Case or Injuries on Social Media
It is important to note that you should never discuss the details of the case in public or on social media accounts whenever you are fighting a personal injury lawsuit.
Time and time again, many courts have ruled that there is no privacy when it comes to lawsuits or social media. The defendant’s attorney can petition the court anytime and gain access to your social media accounts during the lawsuit. Thus, whatever you say about the incident or case on your social media can easily be used against you as evidence in court.
In some cases, the court may not allow the defense access to your social accounts, yet you may be asked to provide complete copies of your posts, videos, and photos, relevant to your lawsuit.
The Bottom Line
Personal injury lawsuits are tricky and require professional assistance. Therefore, never hesitate in seeking a skilled and experienced personal injury lawyer so you can easily fulfill the legal formalities without bearing added financial cost or further loss.
Going through a personal injury is a traumatizing experience for many people. Thus, don’t make the mistake of making a hasty decision without considering all the points discussed above. Remember, a good personal injury lawyer will use a thoughtful approach and help you get the compensation you need while you can sit back, relax and focus on your recovery.