After an accident or injury, most people turn to a personal injury lawyer in Virginia Beach to handle their Virginia personal injury case. The benefits of engaging a lawyer include knowledge of the law, familiarity of legal proceedings in Virginia, and generally, experience speaking with opposing counsel and insurance companies.
However, not every plaintiff wants or needs the assistance of a lawyer. If you have decided to handle your own personal injury case, it is beneficial to follow these first steps.
Documentation is Essential to a Successful Case
First and foremost, keep records of everything.
The strength of your personal injury case will be determined by what you can admit into evidence with the court. Of course, most personal injury cases are settled long before trial, but a paper trail and documentation are still crucial. The more documents you can provide, the better. This often requires collecting paperwork and evidence as the case progresses.
The other side and an insurance company will want to see evidence of your injuries, including medical records and photographs. You will also need accounts of the accident, such as police reports, eyewitness accounts, newspaper articles, and your personal recollection of the events. Other documents that can be helpful are records of any communication you have with the opposing party, an insurance provider, or law enforcement regarding the case.
Send the Right Communication to the Right Parties
At the onset of a personal injury case, there are several pieces of correspondence that you should send in writing. The first is a notification to the at-fault party and insurance company that you will be representing your own claim. Keep a record of this notice a subsequent communication as the trial progresses. These documents can also be important when it comes to negotiation and settlement.
Next, you will need to send a demand letter to any offending party and their insurance provider. You want this demand letter to include all your expenses and costs related to the accident or incident, this can include pain and suffering and loss wages. It can be a complicated process to assess significant costs and who is responsible. If you have difficulty understanding what is compensable in a personal injury case in Virginia, it might be time to contact a personal injury lawyer. Scott R. Barney Esq. in Virginia Beach is happy to discuss your case.
What Not to Do When Handling Your Own Personal Injury Case
Individuals who choose to pursue a personal injury claim in Virginia without a lawyer are prone to make certain mistakes. In addition to taking the affirmative steps listed above, you should also avoid these common errors.
Do not settle too soon. It is understandable that you want to resolve a personal injury case and move on, but it is possible that pain and certain injuries will not develop immediately after an accident. If you settle quickly, you could lose the opportunity to cover these costs.
As well, have confidence when you negotiate with the insurance company. One benefit of engaging a personal injury lawyer in Virginia Beach, VA is the lawyer will be adept at negotiations with an intense insurance adjuster. Faced with an inexperienced plaintiff, an insurance representative may be particularly combative, assuming you will not handle the pressure and accept a lower offer. While most people do succumb to an aggressive insurance adjuster, individuals who negotiate will often be rewarded.
Need Advice or Counsel of a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Whether you recently suffered an injury or have been handling your own case for some time, Scott R. Barney Attorney at Law is prepared to assist with your case in Virginia Beach, VA. With over a decade of experience Scott R. Barney has handled a wide range of personal injury cases, including the representation of several clients who initially wanted to pursue their own case.