Laws regarding personal injury cases are complex, not least of all because they vary by state. Many states like California can be a busy and complicated place to go to court. If you’ve been hurt by the negligence of someone else, it’s important to know what sort of thing can make or break your case.
Injuries are always personal. Even the same injury can have different consequences for different people, and healing times vary by individual. This makes it crucial that you have a doctor who understands the importance of explaining how your injuries have affected you.
One of the most important factors in your case will be records of your treatment immediately after your accident. You will also need everything related to follow-up treatments that were necessary, and all medical documentation related to rehabilitation. Legal medical records may be slightly different than ordinary records and need to be certified as such by a court.
We don’t always follow doctors’ orders, but in a personal injury case, it’s crucial that you do. You may feel you’re ready to get back to playing basketball on Saturday mornings, but if your doctor advises against it, avoid it until your doctor believes it’s safe. Not only is that the smart thing to do for your health, but if you don’t, the opposition may argue that it proves you are not as badly injured as you claim.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can go it alone. Almost everyone who tries to bring a personal injury case without the help of a good lawyer either fails or loses out on significant amounts of compensation they were due.
If you hire a Santa Barbara injury lawyer, you’re getting someone who can negotiate on your behalf and who brings experience and confidence to the table. You’re also bringing someone who knows the Santa Barbara civil court culture.
Without a lawyer, you’ll be under tremendous pressure by the other side to settle quickly and possibly for less than you are entitled to. You also may not know all the documentation you need for your claim, and any failure could delay things in court or even get the case thrown out.
Your social media account
Many people seem genuinely unaware that nothing on social media is private, nor is anything on the internet ever truly deleted.
You may think you’re just encouraging your friends and family by posting cheerful updates on your recovery, even if in reality, you’re not feeling great. Who wants to needlessly upset their grandma, right? But your opponent’s lawyers may seize on those well-meaning Facebook updates and use them to argue that you haven’t been hurt badly.
One problem with personal injuries is that they often come after a traumatic event. Our natural reaction after trauma is to want to put it behind us, and forget about it. Even though that’s natural, it’s important that you take the time to carefully document everything you need for your case.
This includes pictures of the accident and the circumstances surrounding it. Say you fell on a business property because of an unmarked hole. You can be sure the business’ lawyers will advise them to get that hole marked or fixed immediately. If you don’t have a picture proving they didn’t before you fell, it could be your word against theirs.
You need personal information from anyone who was present at the accident, records of all the expenses that you have related to your injury and rehabilitation, proof of your financial situation and what income you’ve lost from work, and of course, all medical information.
There are many things that can make or break your case, but these are four of the biggest. Make sure to talk to your attorney to learn more about these issues and anything else you can do to make sure your case goes as smoothly as possible.