Photo Credit: 123RF Stock Photo[/caption] Personal injury lawsuits can be complex, even if the accident itself seems fairly straightforward. In order to adequately protect your rights, your personal injury lawyer will need detailed and accurate information not only about the accident, but with respect to things like pre-existing medical conditions and your employment history. The following is a list of things to make sure to discuss with your personal injury attorney as soon as possible:
- When you were injured or first learned of the injury. It is important to know the date the injury was first discovered. In the case of an auto accident, the injury is probably discovered at the time of the accident. But in the case of medical malpractice, the injury might not be discovered until after a period of time has passed. For instance, if a doctor misdiagnosed your condition in May, but you didn’t learn of the misdiagnosis until you got a second opinion in July, it is important to tell your attorney all of this information since the date of the injury will impact the statute of limitations.
- Whether you suffered any medical problems prior to the accident. For instance, if you previously suffered knee problems, but they were exacerbated in a car accident, your lawyer should know this information. If you fail to provide this information, the defense could discover it later on in the lawsuit and use it as an attempt to discredit your testimony.
- Any and all medical bills, expenses, and lost wages. Make sure to include the costs associated not just with physical injuries, but with treating emotional injuries as well.
- Where the accident happened. The location of the accident is important in determining jurisdiction and the extent of your legal claims. For instance, the state in which you were injured will impact the state court in which you can file a lawsuit. And if you were injured while on the job, the location of the accident may also impact a possible worker’s compensation claim. The location of the accident may also determine possible defendants, including property owners, hotels, and restaurants.
- Communications with third parties. This includes any communications, such as emails, texts, phone calls, and in-person conversations, that you may have had with the other party to the accident, other attorneys, and insurance companies. Additionally, you should refrain from posting anything about the accident on social media and let your attorney if you have already done so.
Additionally, before retaining a personal injury attorney, you may wish to ask the attorney the following types of questions:
- What are your areas of focus?
- Have you handled similar cases before?
- How many attorneys will be working on my case?
- Will you take my case on a contingent fee basis?
- Are there things I should do to help you with my legal claims?
- How will you keep me informed about the progress of my case?
- How long does it generally take for you to respond to my calls?
- Is there someone else in your office to whom I can communicate if you are unavailable?
- How often have you taken a case to trial?
- Have you ever been disciplined by an ethics committee or suspended from the practice of law?
If you have been injured in a personal injury accident, contact the Chicago medical malpractice lawyers at Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish (312) 445-9084 to schedule a free consultation to discuss a possible personal injury lawsuit. Steinberg Goodman & Kalish (www.sgklawyers.com) is dedicated to protecting victims and their families. We handle medical malpractice, product liability, personal injury, wrongful death, auto accidents, professional negligence, birth trauma, and railroad law matters. Contact us at (888) 325-7299 or (312) 445-9084.