After a accident, it’s hard to work with the insurance company and their claims process. At a certain point, it’s simply time to file a lawsuit, but what information is needed in order to hire a lawyer and pursue a case?
To make the most out of a meeting with an attorney, it is important to compile some background evidence to help the attorney evaluate the personal injury case.
Below are suggestions for what information an attorney needs from in order to help decide the value of your claim.
How Important is Timing?
The first thing that is needed is a timeline. One of the most important pieces of information an attorney will need is how long ago the accident occurred and what has happened since the event. Document in detail how the injuries have impacted the victim’s daily life and/or employment.
This is important for many reasons. The most important reason is that most states have a “statute of limitations.” These are regulations that give a defined timeframe within which a victim must file a lawsuit.
Most states, although not all, require that a victim file a lawsuit within two years from the date of the accident. After that time, they are probably barred from filing a claim.
If the two-year date is rapidly approaching, keep in mind that the statute of limitations may provide allowances that can change the date the “clock starts ticking.”
In some states, the statute recognizes a “reasonable date of discovery” of injury. This means that the clock starts ticking two years from the date that one could have reasonably discovered the injury.
Sometimes, the clock does not start ticking until harm is discovered. However, with a typical auto accident personal injury claim, most people normally discover tat they have been injured on the day of the accident and the “clock” starts ticking on day number one.
What Kind of Physical Evidence Do I Need?
Physical evidence is anything that one can see/touch. For example, if someone is in a car accident, a dent on the car or a crumpled rear fender is considered “physical evidence.” If someone slips and falls in a store, the puddle on the floor is the physical evidence.
It is not easy to bring a car or a puddle to an attorney, so pictures should be taken of anything relevant to liability or damages. With a smartphone, make sure to take photographs of the scene of the accident, the property damage and the victim’s injuries.
What Kind of Written Evidence Do I Need To Bring?
While an attorney will request and obtain all medical records, it is important to bring all medical billings and receipts so that the attorney can cross check to ensure that he/she has all medical records and billings.
In addition, if the victim broke their leg or arm in an accident, all casts or braces that were utilized during rehabilitation should be reserved.
Can Witness Accounts Help?
Yes, whenever possible it is important to provide the attorney with the name and phone numbers of any witness so that the attorney can obtain witness statements.
Regardless of whether or not an injury leads to a claim requiring a lawsuit, always document whether there are any eyewitnesses. Ask the eyewitnesses what they saw and inform an attorney of all observations.
Bringing as much information as possible to a first meeting with an attorney can help move the claim along quickly. The legal process requires information and so bringing as much valuable documentation can only help the claim.
Call Yearin Law Office Today
If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident, give Don Yearin at the Yearin Law Office a call at 480-526-9386 for a free consultation.