Sustaining an injury is not a situation anyone wants to be in—whether caused by a car accident, physical assault, or an inadequate product. If your injury results in a lawsuit, you could solicit help from a lawyer or seek legal aid. There’s also the option for self-representation, so long as you’re willing and able to gather some knowledge. If you decide on self-representation, here are some tips to consider.
1. Investigate and gather evidence.
It’s prudent you build your case on substantial evidence. Here, your medical reports and bills come in handy. Pictures of the accident scene, damage, and injury are relevant in pleading your case. What’s more, witness accounts, surveillance footage, or a verified copy of the police report may also help.
Another good idea is to find out if the parties involved have a criminal record. You might be able to identify criminal behavior patterns if there are any. Finding their mugshots online is a start. Websites such as GoLookUp Mugshots can help you find accurate information about a person—from simple background checks to arrest and criminal records. Even better is the fact that they update data on their platform daily to maintain their trustworthy reputation.
2. Try to seek legal advice.
Yes, you’re still representing yourself. However, it’s safer to have an experienced lawyer (preferably a personal injury lawyer) guide you through your findings. They can help you explore other angles you haven’t yet considered. They can also help you effectively digest all the information you have gathered about your case. You’d at least want to find out from an expert what your chances are. If you’re not sure where to start, a quick online search of a local representative might help. For example, if you’re after a personal injury lawyer in Illinois, WIN Injury Network can help.
A service like WIN Injury Network offers a free consultation for legal needs in personal injury cases mostly resulting from accidents. They help clients navigate the struggles associated with being injured and provide medical and financial services as well.
3. Assess the impact of the injury or accident.
After an injury, you’re advised to seek medical care. Besides helping you identify the extent of the damage, you’ll be arming yourself with medical evidence. Without medical proof, you may not have a case. If your injury didn’t require immediate medical attention, it’s still helpful to report the incident to the police or have evidence (such as pictures) of the entire scene. Also, if you undergo extensive medical care or sustained life-altering injuries, we advise consulting a legal practitioner to help assess the situation.
4. Contact the other parties involved.
Having all the data you need, you can go ahead and formally contact the parties involved. Try to demand settlement in an amount you feel is fair. If the other party is willing, negotiations will ensue. This is where you put to use all information gathered. Depending on how you argue your case, your offer could be reduced or increased. It helps a great deal if you both come to a common ground and settle on a reasonable amount.
5. File your claim in court and negotiate a settlement.
In some cases, the other party won’t agree to your required settlement offer, and the matter ends up in court. If you have strong evidence, you could explore this option. However, bear in mind that the court might reduce (or increase) the amount. Personal injury cases are unique to respective jurisdictions, and not every case may thrive on these tips.
There are also different legal approaches involved, depending on the nature of the case. All scenarios are subject to different responses based on the context and character involved.