What should I have ready before my meeting with my Personal Injury lawyer
The victim in any personal injury case plays just as much, if not more, of a role in winning the case as their accident lawyer in New York. The case begins and ends and is made by whatever the victim brings to the courtroom. Plaintiffs cannot rely wholly on their personal injury attorney. They must be prepared when they walk into their first meeting.
Before even beginning to discuss the case with a personal injury attorney, the victim needs to make sure that they are in the right mindset to do so. Reliving the facts of the case take a toll on one’s emotion and mental well-being. It is important to go over the incident with yourself multiple times before meeting with the attorney. This not only helps to solidify the story in memory, but also gets you used to repeating it so that emotions do not get in the way as much.
Immediately after the incident occurs, you should be taking pictures of your injuries and property damage. Video is also extremely helpful, especially if you can manage to gain access to video shot by uninvolved third parties at the location at which the injury occurred.
Along with visual physical evidence, documentation is also extremely important. Medical reports, for example, of an injury help to prove not only that an injury occurred, but also show that you attempted to alleviate your own injury before suing. Furthermore, these medical documents often contain causes of injuries and provide expert opinions in a civil courtroom.
Witnesses are just as important as any piece of physical evidence present. They can help to back up victim claims, as well as provide unbiased third party opinions. They may also be able to provide information not known to the victim, which could contribute to winning the case. At the scene, be sure to collect names, phone numbers, and addresses of anyone willing to give them.
The story of the incident as a whole is essential to winning a case. Being able to reconstruct the scene verbally can often make the difference between compensation and walking away with absolutely nothing. Be sure to make a note of the date and time that the incident occurred, what was happening during the incident (i.e. who was there, what they were doing, lighting, objects, etc.), and any other details that you can remember. The more accurately you are able to describe the incident, the better chance you have of the court listening to your claims and awarding you compensation.
Along with memory of the scene, you need to tell your accident attorney about every area of your life that this injury directly affected, such as love life, work ability, income, social events, etc.
Why is all of this so important?
In the courtroom, it is not enough to simply make a personal injury claim. The more information you provide your accident attorney, the better chance you have of winning your case. From a legal standpoint, courts are more likely to listen to statements from an accident lawyer in New York than a plaintiff’s. Therefore, you should do your best to give your attorney as much evidence as possible, so that they can recreate the scene just as well as you. Although this could be very uncomfortable and stressful at first, it will help greatly in improving your case.