If you or someone you know has been the victim of an auto accident, and suffered an injury, the first step is consulting with a personal injury attorney. In order to evaluate your case, you need to provide your attorney with all of the relevant information regarding your situation. This also includes bringing important documents and other information to your initial consultation. If you are wondering what to bring to your attorney after an auto accident, this article will help you figure that out.
What should I do if I suffer a personal injury?
If you are the victim of a personal injury, the first thing to do is seek proper medical attention and follow the advice of your health care provider. Next, notify your insurance carrier and law enforcement if necessary. In the event of an automobile accident, you should file a police report and obtain a copy of that report for yourself.
If you believe your injury was the result of the intentional actions of another, you should immediately contact an attorney to discuss rights. Most personal injury cases are covered by a statute of limitations, which means that you only have a certain period of time in which you can file a lawsuit. In Arkansas, the time limit is three (3) years and in Missouri, the time limit is five (5) years.
What to bring to your initial consultation
All case-related information is important, regardless of how small or insignificant, is important in analyzing your case. The basic rule is, if you are not sure whether a piece of information is relevant, share it anyway. There is no such thing as too much information, when it comes to consulting with your attorney. To get you started, there are a few things that you should bring to your first meeting:
- Contact information of everyone involved in your case
- Hospital or other medical records
- Medical bills, notices
- Email, phone records, or other communications documents
- Pay stubs or other salary records
- Copy of the accident report
- Insurance policies
- Police reports and traffic tickets
- Photographs of injuries or any damage to property
Personal injury claims are based on the negligent or willful conduct of another, which causes physical or emotional injury to another. The laws governing personal injury claims are different in each state.
What happens after the initial consultation?
Civil lawsuits, including those involving personal injury, typically follow a similar path toward conclusion. A personal injury lawsuit is initiated by the filing of a complaint in court. The result will be either dismissal of the claims, a settlement or a trial and jury verdict. The complaint spells out the allegations that should entitle you to damages. The person you sue, the defendant, is allowed to respond to your claims.
The next important phase of litigation is called “discovery,” which allows the parties the opportunity to find any relevant evidence in the case. This phase usually involves interviewing witnesses and examining documents.
Some cases can be resolved before trial through settlement. If not, the case will go to trial, as long as the court determines that your case has some merit. In a jury trial, the judge determines which laws apply to your case. But the jury ultimately determines who is responsible, and how much you should receive for those injuries.
If you have questions regarding automobile accidents, or any other personal injury concerns, call the Cottrell Law Office at (888) 433-4861.
He is licensed to practice law in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, eastern Arkansas, western Arkansas, and western Missouri. He was Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Crawford County, Kansas from 1987-1989.
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