Your personal injury attorney is a key part of a successful case. But you, the victim, can also help them do their best job. How? Here are a few ways to help your lawyer help you.
1. Communicate Well
Be a good communicator with your legal team. Make yourself available as much as possible. Return phone calls and emails promptly. Be clear and concise with requests and responses. Discuss with your lawyer their preferred methods of communication, and use methods through which you can be well-understood. It may take time and effort, but it helps you both stay on the same page.
2. Be Prompt
There are time limits to many elements of a civil case. You have a limited period during which you can start a personal injury case and must meet court-determined deadlines as you go. Attend meetings as requested, trying to arrive early so as to waste no one's time. Respond to your lawyer's requests—particularly during discovery—as quickly as possible so they can do their part of the job.
3. Respond to Discovery
Discovery is the mandatory process of exchanging information between yourself and the other party. It includes written questions and admissions, requests for evidence and documentation, examinations, and depositions. When your lawyer passes on requests for information or for you to respond to questions, participate willingly in the process. Your lawyer will then serve as your gatekeeper against inappropriate discovery.
4. Be Honest
You have a right to privileged communications with your lawyer and members of their team. Exercise this right to have frank and honest conversations with them. They need to know about anything that may come up at trial, such as past history of drugs or alcohol and prior injuries. They cannot adequately defend you against accusations or credibility attacks if they don't know they're coming.
5. Follow Medical Instructions
Be a good patient. Follow medical providers' instructions, take your treatments, and show up for appointments. Complete therapy and follow-up meetings. Your health records will be a big part of both winning the case and determining damages, so they will be scrutinized. While some deviation (like occasional missed appointments) is understandable, keep it to a minimum.
Where to Start
Want more tips for helping your legal representation represent you to the best of their ability? Make an appointment to meet with a qualified personal injury attorney in your state today.
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