Top 10 keys to the success of your personal injury case
We are often asked by new clients at the beginning of their cases, “What can I do to help you represent me and get the best result possible?” We offer the following “Top 10” list of how you can best help us help you:
1. Get better!
We know this sounds simple, but this is no time to “tough it out.” You must get the medical treatment necessary to heal your body and help you recover from your injuries. Follow through with all medical appointments and tests, such as CT scans and MRIs, and attend all your physical therapy sessions. Missed appointments and unexplained gaps in your treatment will reduce the value of your case and hurt your case.
2. Keep good records.
You hate all the paperwork you’ve received from insurance companies, repair shops, and medical offices, but we love it. The more documents we have, the better able we are to support your claim. To that end, it is very important that you drop off or email to us copies of all documents you receive related to your case.
3. Take photos and videos.
It’s cliché, but a picture is worth 1,000 words. Photos and videos are powerful exhibits that we can use on your behalf in negotiations and at trial. Please take photos of your injuries, if they’re still visible, such as bruises, abrasions, stitches, casts, and similar.
With the sophistication of mobile phones, it’s also easy to document the struggles you’re facing in your daily life through video. Take videos of the challenges you have in completing household tasks, going up and down stairs, and doing other physical activities.
Many clients arrive at our office with photos of their accident scene and the vehicles damaged in the accident. If you were unable to take photos, don’t worry. We will obtain the photos taken by the investigating officer. If you still have access to your car, however, take photos and email them to our office.
4. Keep us informed.
Please keep us posted on how you are feeling and the medical treatment you are receiving. We keep a list of all of the medical providers you’re seeing, and the detailed information you provide helps us when we request your medical records and bills from them.
Also, please keep all of your contact information up to date with our office.
5. Be responsive to our requests.
We know you want this whole process to be over as soon as possible so you can move on with your life. One of the best ways to help us achieve that goal is to provide needed documents and information that we request as quickly as possible. When we wait three to four weeks for documents we’ve asked for, it can double or triple the time it takes us to wrap up your case.
If your case goes to court, there are deadlines we have to meet when the other side requests information and documents. If we fail to meet these deadlines, you can be held in contempt of court, and that will not put your case in a favorable light before the court.
6. Don’t let social media destroy your case.
One ill-advised photo or post on Facebook or another social media site can destroy your personal injury case. Whatever you post is going out onto the Internet, and insurance companies hire investigators to scour the Web to dig up whatever information they can find to damage your case.
Greatly reduce your use of social media, or stay off it all together while your case is pending. Do not post any photos or posts about your accident. Even photos or posts that seem harmless to you could be used to suggest to a jury that you were not injured or are exaggerating your injuries.
7. Be honest about your medical condition.
Be honest about your current and past medical condition at all times. For example, it is better for us to know now about the back injury you suffered in an accident four years ago than to be confronted with it at trial without warning. A defense attorney can seriously damage your credibility in front of a jury if prior injuries are hidden or if you exaggerate your current symptoms.
8. Be truthful at all times.
Of course, telling the truth is always the right thing to do. But know that in the context of a personal injury case, it’s not uncommon for clients to have a poor driving record or a criminal conviction in their backgrounds. In many situations, these facts will have no bearing on your case. However, it is important to let us know about this information or any other problems in your past so we can discuss it and prepare to address it if it comes up during negotiations or trial.
9. Keep a journal.
Do you remember what you ate for dinner last Thursday night? We didn’t think so. As your case moves forward, it’s normal and understandable that you will forget details about your injuries and treatment. The best way to avoid this problem is for you to keep a journal of your medical condition and treatment in a school notebook or daily calendar.
Details win cases, and your journal over time can yield the specific facts about your injuries and medical care that will help us win the day at trial or in negotiations.
10. Follow our advice.
We are honored to have wonderful clients from all walks of our great community. We respect you and value your input and suggestions as we work together to achieve the best result possible.
We simply ask that, rather than listening to the “armchair lawyers” in your neighborhood or circle of friends and family, that you listen to the advice from the lawyers you’ve hired to help win your case. The lawyers in our firm have more than 60 years of combined experience, and we can achieve the best outcome possible for you if you follow through on the advice we give you.
Call our Eastern Virginia office today for a free consultation
at (804) 413-6777 or toll free (855) 781-6777.
It costs you nothing for our firm to represent you. We only get paid when you do. Learn more
Prevention, empathy, and diligence are hallmarks of everything we do at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys. Our community can see these ideals lived out in our work to prevent personal injuries from happening.
- Safety Education
GibsonSingleton launches “Texts=Wrecks” campaign to reduce the number of people injured or killed by distracted drivers.
- Annual Coat Drive
During the fall, our team works to distribute coats to people in need in our community.
- Hands-on Service
John and Ken join the Gloucester Point Rotary Club in cleaning up the community.
- Supporting Local Schools
The Gibson family participates in Gloucester’s Botetourt Elementary Shuffle fundraiser.