A personal injury lawsuit can take quite some time depending on the amount of evidence and the type of accident you faced. In many cases, you have months or even years to prepare for your lawsuit. Fayetteville personal injury lawyer Ken Kieklak has some tips and important things to know for any injury victim preparing for a personal injury lawsuit in the State of Arkansas. If you need an attorney for your case, contact Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law today for a free consultation on your case.
Preparing to File a Personal Injury Case
The first step in preparing your injury case is filing it in court. First, it is important to understand the deadlines you have to file your case. Arkansas law gives you three years from the date of injury to file your case. This means that during the three years, you have some time to get your case together and contact a personal injury lawyer. This should always be done sooner rather than later, as the more time you have working with your lawyer before the filing deadline, the more time you have to build your case.
You should also prepare by getting medical treatment for your injuries. Not only will seeking medical care help your injuries improve but your medical records also work as evidence of how serious your condition is. Plus, getting medical care gives you receipts for your treatment so that you can start calculating the damages you will claim in your case.
You should also come to your lawyer with as much information as you can reasonably gather on your own. It is important to get information regarding the accident you were in, where it took place, and who you think might be responsible. With a car accident case, this means getting information about the other driver, the cars involved, and where the crash occurred. For slip and fall accidents, you should know where the accident occurred and who owns the property. For manufacturing defect injuries, you should find out what company makes the product, where you purchased it, and how the product injured you.
It is also vital to get information from any witnesses. This can help you find information regarding who was involved, what happened, and where it happened. It can also help you back-up your story from an independent source. If any video cameras might have recorded the accident as it happened, it is vital to talk to the owner of the cameras or contact your lawyer about it immediately, as many security cameras overwrite the footage within mere days.
Preparing for Trial in a Personal Injury Case in Arkansas
If you have already talked to an attorney and are getting ready for your case to move to trial, your preparation may be different. If you are receiving medical care, one way to prepare is to continue to follow your treatment plan and continue your care. If you stick with the course of treatment, it is good evidence that your injury or condition was quite serious and needs the ongoing care.
Much of the trial preparation may include depositions. This is similar to testifying in court, except you usually take a deposition in an office setting with attorneys for both sides present, a court reported to create a record of the deposition, and perhaps someone to record audio or video of the deposition. In civil cases, lawyers for both sides may want to depose everyone involved, including the plaintiff (you), the defendant (the at-fault party), witnesses, and even treating physicians in some cases.
As trial draws near, one thing you need to prepare with your lawyer is what to do with settlement offers. In many cases, the defendant may offer to settle. Often, insurance companies represent the at-fault party, and they may find it cheaper to pay you money rather than continuing to fight the case. It is important to discuss case strategy and the value of your case with your lawyer to understand when a settlement will be too low to cover your needs.
Preparing for your trial itself can be stressful. You should talk with your attorney and practice giving testimony, though you probably already prepared for this when preparing for depositions. You should also research how to get to the courthouse, discuss when and where you will meet your lawyer, and find something suitable to wear. Unlike courtroom dramas and movies, there is no need for you to wear a neck brace or ride in a wheelchair unless these things are actually required, and you should talk to your attorney about how to act in the courtroom to avoid unjustly exaggerating your injuries.
Fayetteville Personal Injury Lawyer Offering Free Consultations
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident, talk to an attorney about your case. Preparing for your case can be an ordeal, but your attorney can help guide you through it. Arkansas personal injury lawyer Ken Kieklak has decades of experience helping injury victims and their families get compensation for their injuries. For a free consultation on your case, contact our law offices today at (479) 439-1843.