A personal injury case comes about when someone has been injured or killed as a result of someone else’s negligence. In the medical community, this is referred to as “failure to provide reasonable care.” When there has been failure to provide reasonable care, doctors find themselves in the middle of a lawsuit. In a personal injury case, you will have the burden to prove that your injury (or injury or death of someone) was an accident that could have been prevented. Personal injury cases range from dog bites, to construction accidents, plane crashes, slips and falls, and many more, and each case is completely different from one person to the next. When you decide to meet with an attorney to discuss your case, here are some items you will want to know or have on hand so you are well-prepared when the time comes.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has guidelines regarding medical records and who is able to obtain those records, whether the records pertain to someone who has been injured and is still alive, or someone who is deceased. Checking in with them to find out the process for applying to obtain records is a good place to start. There is a process which could take as long s 30 days or more to have the actual records in your hands. You should be prepared to be patient; you will not be able to obtain these records at the flip of a switch. There may also be a fee involved.
When you meet with your attorney you want to be truthful and explain the accident as best you can, and why you believe there was negligence involved. You may be entitled to certain compensation or relief if you can prove that the accident has impacted your future and your lifestyle considerably. You may be able to be compensated for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages and other factors if you are now in a position where you are unable to earn a living as a direct result of that accident. Other items that may help you be prepared include:
- Knowing and having proof on how your life has changed because of the accident. Has your home been remodeled for wheelchair access? Do you have an in-home caregiver? Do you rely on someone to help you with basic tasks such as brushing your teeth and eating?
- Were there witnesses to the accident? Do you know how to contact them?
- Have you been involved in past lawsuits or legal matters?
- What was the severity of the injury? Was it immediate or did other factors develop after you were injured?
While a personal injury attorney will be able to lead you through the remainder of the process, having as much in your hands as possible to assist your attorney will provide more backup toward settling your case. If you or someone you know was involved in an accident, it is best to put your case in the hands of personal injury attorney who can help you settle quickly and efficiently.