Finding an experienced personal injury attorney to represent you is only the first step in pursuing your claim. A successful personal injury case also requires the client’s input and assistance in getting the settlement your case deserves. Here are my five C’s of a successful personal injury case that every potential client should read about and understand.
So many times I hear of attorneys who do not regularly communicate with their client. If that happens, then the client is left in the dark about the status of their case. This is a totally unacceptable situation.
But the same is true for the client. A client should regularly communicate with the attorney so that the attorney is totally informed about the case. A thoroughly informed attorney is the backbone to effective representation.
Here are just some things your should be prepared to give your personal injury attorney:
- accident facts
- injury facts
- previous injuries or claims
- medical treatment
- changes in your contact information
If your attorney has this information, then the representation will go more smoothly.
Your attorney cannot do everything alone. After all, your attorney is merely the tool you use to push your case through. The client is the real player in the whole representation. Therefore, it is important that the client cooperate with the attorney. Here are some examples where a client’s cooperation is pivotal:
- Providing information and documents
- Coming to appointments on time
- Participating in the litigation process
- Appearing and preparing for depositions and mediation
- Appearing and preparing for trial, if necessary
Without the client’s cooperation, the case will come to a stand-still.
Pursuing a personal injury case is like going into battle. You have to be committed to achieving the objective. The objective is getting the compensation you deserve. If the insurance company is not willing to settle, then you have to be willing to go to trial. If you create the impression that you are NOT committed to going to trial, then the insurance company will sense your hesitation. That is one of the worst thing that can happen in your case.
An insurance company’s greatest weapon is their ability to wear you down. You cannot let that happen. Some of the most successful cases I have ever handled involve clients who are totally committed to winning their case. Once the insurance company senses that you have the resolve to go to trial, their view of your case can take a major turn in your favor.
Confidence goes hand-in-hand with your commitment. It is through your display of confidence in your case that the insurance company senses your resolve. You must be confident in your version of the accident, the your description of your injury, and how it affected your life.
If you do not have confidence that your claim is worthy of compensation, then you will get no compensation. You cannot show fear. It’s that simple!
5. Calm, Cool, and Collected
I saved this category until the end for a good reason. I know these are three “C”‘s, but they all mean the same thing.
Although you are committed and confident about your case, you never want to display anger or be confrontational. That is a big turn-off.
Let’s say you are in a deposition. The other attorney asks you questions about your prior medical history. You start to become agitated. Now, the other attorney knows you can be broken down at trial. Therefore, you always want to be confident and committed in your case, but do so in a calm and courteous manner.
Once the insurance company sees that you are a likable person, then the stock in your case goes up. However, if you come across as confrontational and argumentative, the jury will not like that and might hold it against you.
You always want to create the impression that you are a person of good character and disposition. At that point, the insurance company and their attorneys will conclude that you will make a good impression in front of a jury. Therefore, they are less will to go to trial and may want to settle your case more readily.
After all, you are the key witness in your personal injury case!!! If the key witness cannot stay strong, then the whole case falls apart.