If you were injured in an accident that you believe was due to someone else's negligent acts (or negligent lack of action), then you may be in the midst of filing a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent party. With a good lawyer on your side, you will hopefully either settle out of court or go to trial, in the end obtaining compensation for your medical expenses and lost wages. But while your lawyer's arguments will play a large role in determining if you win your case, they are not everything! You must also avoid doing a few things that might sabotage your own case while it is being carried out.
Avoid missing doctors' appointments.
One of the most common arguments defendants make against personal injury victims is that the victim is only injured—or only still injured to the extent that they're claiming—because they have failed to seek treatment or follow up with their doctors' prescribed treatment. If you skip doctor's appointments or consistently have to reschedule them, this habit makes it easy for the defendant's lawyer to make the above-described argument.
While your personal injury case is being pursued, you need to make attending doctors' appointments a top priority. Arrange everything else in your schedule to make them, if you must. If you absolutely have to reschedule an appointment, do so as soon as possible. (A day later is better than one week!)
Avoid returning to work before you are ready.
Assuming you are out of work, you may feel the pressure to return because you are not earning a paycheck—or your full wage, at least—while you are out. However, if you return to work prematurely and injure yourself (or delay the healing of your injuries), the defendant's lawyer could argue that your injuries are due to your own irresponsibility in returning to work before you were ready.
Although it's hard to sit around recovering and not earning money, the best way to ensure you eventually get compensated for your lost wages is to only return to work when you feel completely physically able—and when your doctor has approved your return. If your doctor approves your return but you do not feel ready, feel free to ask for a second opinion.
Avoid being too public about your case.
Chances are you are infuriated or at least annoyed that someone's actions led to your injuries. But it's best not to talk publicly about the injustice you've been done. "Publicly" includes on social media. Post the wrong thing, and it could be taken as hostility or an admission of fault—neither of which will bode well for your case if the defendant or their lawyer gets wind of it. You never know who someone knows. The coworker you vent to in the park could be the cousin of the defendant, for example.
It's understandable that you will want to talk about your case and what has happened to you. Do so with a few close friends and family members, in a private space like your home. It's best to avoid social media entirely until your case is complete, as pictures and posts you make can easily be misunderstood in ways you would never see coming.
Navigating a personal injury case can be stressful and all-encompassing. If you are feeling overwhelmed and are not sure what you should and should not do during this time, talk to your attorney. Depending on the particulars of your case, there may be additional guidelines to follow, or you may have a little more flexibility than this article suggests. For additional information, contact a personal injury law firm in your area.