BY JOHN ALBERTS
1) Ensure you understand the steps of the lawsuit, including investigation, gathering, evidence, filing a lawsuit, and the potential for settlement, and trial in your case.
2) All cases have a statute of limitations. Make sure you understand the time limits for filing a claim as missing the deadline could result in losing the right to file a lawsuit. Miss the deadline to file and you are forever unable to seek a recovery.
3) Make sure you identify potential defendants. These are people who might have liability. Examples would be the driver of the other car, the designer of a faulty product staff at a nursing home are a few examples. Be sure you know who you are going to sue.
4) Discuss the type of compensation you believe you may be entitled to with your attorney. Discussed things like medical expenses, funeral costs, loss of income and pain and suffering. Understanding your potential recovery is something to consider before filing a lawsuit.
5) Make sure you understand what facts have to be established in your case, in order to prove your case at trial in order to have a successful verdict. Proving your case is a necessity, without proof you do not have a case.
6) There is a possibility of settlement. Make sure you understand the advantages and disadvantages of settling your case versus going to trial. A trial could result in a large jury award, but at the same time the jury could give you nothing.
7) It is important to know what to expect if the case goes to trial including the potential length in the complexities of the proceeding. Real court is not like your favorite hour-long TV show. Talk over the pro’s and con’s of a trial with your lawyer.
8) Trials can have an emotional impact. Be sure you understand the emotional toll of losing a loved one, going through the legal process, having a trial or settling a case involves. Litigation can be very difficult for you and your family. Sometimes reaching out to a counselor can be helpful in navigating the process.
9) Set clear expectations regarding communications and updates throughout the case. Being informed is important. Make sure you and your lawyer are on the same page. Regular communication to one person might be weekly, while to another it means monthly. Talk it over and be sure you are on the same page to avoid frustration.
10) Personal injury cases are paid through a contingency fee agreement. Make sure you understand the fee structure. Some frees involve a contingency fee. This means that you would receive a percentage of the fee taken at settlement or trial. Understand the advantages and disadvantages to percentage contracts. To avoid any future issues, it is best to make sure that the fee agreement is understood, in writing, and signed at the beginning of the case.
Remember that knowledge is power so educating yourself so you have a better understanding of the process can be life changing. These 10 ideas are a great starting point for talking with your personal injury attorney and getting your case started.
Good communication is the key to any relationship, including with your attorney. If you have questions, find us at bedlamlawfirm.com or by calling us at 405-407-0111.
To speak to a compassionate personal injury attorney at Bison Law Firm, call (405) 407-0111.