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In considering a potential lawsuit involving a personal injury, one may wonder how a claim can be strengthened going into litigation. This is important because a strong claim may be weakened if the injured party—the plaintiff—isn’t diligent in thoroughly documenting the incident and collecting relevant evidence. A comprehensive investigation is a key component in preparing for a successful personal injury lawsuit.
The importance of an experienced attorney cannot be overly emphasized: your legal counsel can help you uncover case-related facts prior to litigation.
Factual information will be a critical element in persuading a judge or jury as to the other person’s (the defendant’s) fault in the matter. Evidence and facts uncovered during an investigation may be leveraged to persuade the defendant to accept a settlement—thereby allowing both parties to avoid the stress of a full-blown trial.
Every case is unique with different facts to consider. That said, there are a few things that every legal team should want to look at prior to filing a personal injury lawsuit. For example, an attorney will want to know about any pre-existing conditions that might have affected the way the incident transpired or its aftermath—the goal is to eliminate the defendant’s ability to sow doubt so that your case gets resolved as favorably and rapidly as possible. The timeliness of legal action may also be considered; an extended delay in seeking damages may help the defendant argue against the legitimacy of the claim or the severity of the injury.
There will also need to be an assessment of the documentation. This would include photographs of the incident site as well as pictures of the actual injury. (Keep in mind that a recollection of a bruise that fades before being photographed won’t be as valuable to your case as pictures taken right after the incident or within a short timeframe of the accident itself.) Doctor and emergency room reports will also aid in the presentation of a personal injury case. Bear in mind, however, that a traffic ticket—for instance in an automobile accident—doesn’t automatically make or break a case. A ticket merely represents the officer’s evaluation as to who, if anyone, may have broken a law—and that may or may not be relevant to the matter before the court. In fact, in many cases, there were no tickets issued at the scene at all; perhaps emergency responders arrived on the scene or the policeman was busy directing traffic. This doesn’t mean no-one’s at fault. An attorney will help with evaluation of all documentation. Some witnesses may not have a chance to speak with the officer.
An investigation of a personal injury case will also include speaking with any witnesses and obtaining statements. Just as importantly, the strength of the case will depend to some degree on the availability of those witnesses to testify if the matter goes to trial. Additionally, the plaintiff’s legal team may look into the background of the defendant to see if he or she has a history of irresponsibility which might be of interest in court.
While the facts—and their documentation—will be critical to the court’s finding in a personal injury litigation, other issues may affect just resolution of the legal action. For example, limits set on financial liability or the defendant’s ability to provide restitution for negligence should also be considerations as to how to proceed in a personal injury matter. These factors will be weighed by legal counsel when helping an injured party evaluate their claim.
If you’ve been injured in a car crash, slip-and-fall incident, or another painful event, turn to Starr Law Offices. We’ve got almost three decades’ experience helping injured parties find resolution for the guilty party’s carelessness. There’s no such thing as an accident; someone caused it. Someone should pay.