Personal injuries can cause temporary disability, permanent disability, future inability to work, and many other long-term consequences. For this reason, it’s understandable to want compensation for your injuries and damages. However, to prepare for your personal injury case, you will need a personal injury lawyer on your side.
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Ask a Personal Injury Lawyer: Three Steps to Prepare Your Case
1. Consult With a Lawyer
The first thing you need to do to prepare for your case is to consult with a Kansas City personal injury lawyer. Lawyers have expertise in personal injury lawsuits and knowledge about the specific Missouri laws that may apply to your case. From car accidents to medical malpractice, a lawyer with experience in personal injury cases can help you get the justice you deserve.
A consult for your case will let a lawyer assess whether or not the details of your case qualify for compensation. A consultation on your case may be especially important for medical malpractice lawsuits. This assessment will also help you understand the reasonable expectations you can have for your settlement.
Set Compensation Goals
When you are consulting with a lawyer, you need to discuss your compensation goals. These goals are important because they will outline what you plan to use your compensation for. For example, many people seek compensation to pay for medical bills, particularly because medical debt is a growing problem in America. Other compensation goals can include replacing lost income, future earning ability, and pain and suffering.
2. Gather Evidence
Preparing for your lawsuit will also include gathering evidence for your case. You will work closely with your lawyer and their investigation team to gather relevant documents that will prove your personal injury claims. Some types of evidence that may be relevant to your case may include:
For some personal injury lawsuits, there will be police reports attached to your case. For example, for car accidents, a police report will contain information about your accident, including information about the other driver that may prove liability.
Liability in a car accident case means that one or both drivers are responsible for the accident. The other driver may be found liable for the accident if they were driving under the influence, driving aggressively, or engaging in road rage. Police reports may also be included in cases that involve wrongful death.
Your medical records are the central component of your personal injury case. The most important medical records for your case will be dated on the day of your injury, which will prove when you were injured and what your injuries were at the time of the accident.
Other medical records that may be relevant to your lawsuit can include billing records, which will detail the treatments, procedures, and prescriptions you were billed for. Invoices for your medical bills can also be used to calculate the exact damages you have incurred because of your personal injury.
Witnesses of your accident can also be important. For example, if your personal injury lawsuit is related to premises liability, a witness can confirm the account of how you were injured by verifying that there were hazards on the property on the day you were injured. Witness testimony can also come from police reports.
Other documentation may be relevant to your case. For example, video and photographic evidence of how you were injured can be used to prove that you’re not liable for your injuries. Documents that illuminate previous medical malpractice claims, previous complaints about dangers on property, and previous DUI offenses for the other driver can also be used as evidence in your case.
3. Learn About Settlement Limitations
Another part of preparing for your personal injury lawsuit is to learn about settlement limitations. Missouri state law has compensation caps for certain types of damages. For example, medical malpractice cases have compensation caps of about $800,000 for catastrophic injury. Your lawyer will have more information about settlement limitations that may apply to your case.
When you’re seeking a settlement for a personal injury lawsuit, there may be limitations on your compensation. One of the biggest reasons your compensation may be limited is because the person who is liable for your injury does not have any assets to pay a settlement with.
Missouri is also a comparative fault state, which applies to cases such as premises liability and car accidents. Comparative fault allows a judge or jury to assign a percentage of fault to each person involved in an accident. This means that if you fell on someone’s property, a judge may find you partially responsible for your injuries.
When you’re preparing for a personal injury lawsuit, you will need to take several steps before you can file your case. Consulting with an attorney, gathering evidence, and learning about settlement limitations that may apply to your case are all essential steps.