Important Reminders for Personal Injury Plaintiffs
How Can You Help Your Lawyer in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
As a plaintiff in a personal injury matter, you are the most important part of your lawsuit. What you do (or don’t do) matters. Understanding this dynamic and completing key tasks will help your attorney to represent you more effectively. More specifically, during the pendency of your case, it is critically important that you attend to the following:
- RECORD SUBMISSION – send your attorney copies of your medical and other litigation-related records
- RESPONSIVENESS – be responsive to your attorney’s inquiries and requests;
- PROVIDE UPDATES – keep your attorney updated with changes in: contact information; health status; medical care; etc.;
- REMOVAL SURGERY – if your case involves a medical device, let your attorney know if you have a removal surgery/procedure scheduled;
- THOROUGHNESS – be thorough in written or oral requests for information and factual disclosures;
- CONFIDENTIALITY – do not disclose confidential information;
- SOCIAL MEDIA – be mindful of postings and conversations via social media, email, text, etc.;
- PRESERVATION – preserve all litigation-related information and documents;
- BANKRUPTCY – let your attorney know if you are planning to, or if you have EVER, filed for bankruptcy, even if your bankruptcy case has since been closed; and
- PATIENCE – have patience.
Of particular distinction, preservation of evidence is extremely important in personal injury litigation. Under the Federal Rules of Evidence, whenever it can be “reasonably anticipated” that an action will be filed, all parties have a duty to preserve (hold for safe keeping) potentially relevant evidence. Therefore, if you are considering hiring an attorney, or pursuing a lawsuit, you should definitely be preserving any and all evidence related to your case.
Evidence includes all information, not just documents, but electronically stored information, as well. For example, evidence that requires preservation (safe keeping) includes, but is certainly not limited to:
|· Emails||· Calendars|
|· Medical Bills & Records||· Diaries|
|· Health Insurance Records||· Photographs|
|· Text Messages||· Medical Devices|
|· Internet Search Materials||· Documents Related to Income and Taxes|
|· Documents Related to Claims for Disability||· Social Media Account Information (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.)|
Further, and this is extremely important, do not go back now and try to edit, change, alter, delete, or destroy any records, messages, documents, comments, photographs, social media accounts, etc. Doing so at this juncture could be viewed by the court as your attempting to destroy evidence and could very well lead to the dismissal of your lawsuit.
As stated above, you are the most important part of your lawsuit, and so following these recommendations would certainly aid in the prosecution of your claim. If you suspect that you or someone you know has been injured by someone else’s negligence (auto accident, medical malpractice, wrongful death, defective medical device/drug, etc.), and you have not already hired an attorney, The Yost Legal Group may be able to help. Our team of experienced legal professionals is here to offer you free, individual consultation. Call The Yost Legal Group at 1-800-YOST-LAW.