According to data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, less than 5% of U.S. personal injury cases go to trial because they are settled outside of court. Of the cases that do go to trial, roughly half of all plaintiffs win their claim, but this differs depending on the type of case. For example, plaintiffs lose approximately 74% of medical malpractice cases, but they win about 60% of auto collision claims.
The result of your personal injury case, however, is not necessarily up to chance. Several factors will either increase or decrease your likelihood of walking away with the compensation you deserve. Here are 5 ways to improve your odds of success.
Tip #1: Keep All Evidence
Evidence can make or break a personal injury case. Especially after traumatic events like car accidents, however, many people forget to take their own notes and pictures. Memory fades faster than many people realize, which is why you will have the most accurate understanding of what happened immediately after the collision. Be sure to also document symptoms of injuries as time passes.
Tip #2: See a Doctor
Avoiding a doctor after an accident is common for several reasons. Some people simply don’t realize they’re seriously injured, and they’d rather avoid the hassle and subsequent medical costs.
Others believe they may have a higher likelihood of obtaining compensation if their injury lingers. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Failing to seek medical care will not only exacerbate your pain and suffering but also give the defendant an opportunity to limit your eligibility for damages. Like many other states, South Carolina expects plaintiffs in personal injury cases to fulfill their “duty to mitigate damages.” If you should have seen a doctor for an injury but chose not to, the defendant can say that they aren’t responsible for your full treatment costs because you did not fulfill your duty to mitigate.
Tip #3: Act Sooner Rather Than Later
All states have statutes of limitations for each type of claim you can file. A statute of limitations is the number of years you have to file suit and obtain compensation. For personal injury claims in South Carolina, you only have three years from the date of your injury to file.
Tip #4: Keep Away from Social Media
Unfortunately, attorneys and other parties can use your posts as evidence. If you claim you are in extreme pain or emotional distress, but photos suggest otherwise, your claim may be weakened.
Tip #5: Retain a Lawyer
The most influential factor is whether you hire a lawyer—and whether your lawyer is equipped to handle your case. An experienced attorney can decide whether your case needs to be taken to trial or if settling out of court is most beneficial for your case. They can also compellingly present your evidence, demonstrating why you need and deserve full compensation.
Furthermore, the defendant will likely have their own counsel. If you don’t have professional assistance, your odds of success are dismal.
Let’s Obtain the Compensation You Need
At Lam Law Firm, our attorney has years of personal injury experience and knows exactly what it will take to file a successful claim. While no amount of money can return your life to the way it was before your accident, maximum damages can help you pay for medical treatment, overcome hardship resulting from lost wages, and compensate for the emotional and physical suffering you have experienced. With so much at stake, put your case in the best possible hands.