When individuals are injured due to the negligent, reckless, or intentionally harmful behavior of others, there are a few steps that can and should be taken whenever possible. In the event of such injury, civil law provides the means by which victims can pursue financial compensation from those responsible for their injuries. The legal professional who handles this type of case is known as a Chicago personal injury lawyer, and he or she is generally a part of a larger personal injury law firm.
Often, these attorneys work on a contingency basis, which means they get paid only if and when they make a financial recovery for a victim’s case. When you are injured in an accident that was caused by someone else, there are a few things that you can do to assist your attorney. Following as many of these steps as possible maximizes the assistance you provide in helping your legal case work out in your favor. However, not following these steps will not necessarily jeopardize a case either.
- After an accident, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention. If it is a serious accident, this will likely be done by emergency crews that respond to the scene. However, if your injuries do not require an ambulance, you should still get checked out as soon as possible, if even by your family doctor, to make sure that your condition, no matter how minor, is continually documented.
- Your personal injury attorney will need to establish who caused the accident and how it happened. Witnesses are a valuable resource when it comes to corroborating how an accident unfolded. Try to write down the names and addresses of anyone who saw the accident so that it is easy to locate and contact them during the preparation of your case.
- Photographs of an accident scene can also be very helpful to a personal injury lawyer who is trying to recreate the accident. If you do not have a camera, send someone to buy a disposable one from a nearby gas station or supermarket. Photos are useful to document more than the accident itself; they help clarify the environment and conditions in which the drivers were operating when the accident occurred. Just because the responsible driver was obeying a posted speed limit does not mean that he or she was driving appropriately for weather, traffic, or construction conditions. Documenting such conditions can help prove negligence on the part of another driver, or on someone responsible for a road condition such as a severe pothole.
- After the accident, follow and continue to follow all instructions given you by medical professionals. Do not miss appointments or skip therapy or medications. Even if you skip an appointment because you are needed at work and are willing to just “take the pain,” this can be construed as you not really needing treatment and, therefore, not actually being injured.
- Finally, make sure to follow the advice and instructions of the law firm that is representing your case. Keep in good communication with your own insurance company, but do not speak with anyone else’s company unless you and your attorney have discussed what you will say. In many cases, your Chicago Car Accident Lawyer will actually handle the outside insurance company directly so that you do not have to worry about being tricked into saying the wrong thing.
Again, following these suggestions will not guarantee a case’s success anymore than not following them will jeopardize it. They are simply suggestions as to help your personal injury lawyer make a smoother and quicker case when you have been struck by a negligent motorist. Ultimately, the best advice you can have is to work with an experienced attorney who is dedicated and knowledgeable in his or her field of practice.
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