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We’ve explored many aspects of the legal field on this blog over the better part of this year, from items in the news to general legal guidelines to brief excursions into legal history. But at the end of the day, we’re here to do one thing, and that’s to inform readers what their rights are in the field of personal injury law. Whether they feel they’ve been injured unfairly on the roads, at work or even at home, our clients are entitled to receive restitution for what they’ve gone through. And sometimes–particularly when they’re up against insurance companies with a vested interest in paying as little as possible–they need a little help. That’s where we come in.

So if you find yourself on the receiving end of an unfair payout, or if you are just curious about how to go about dealing with a personal injury case in the unfortunate event of an accident, here are some general guidelines to follow at your consultation and throughout the early steps of your case.

Firstly, you should remember to document as much as possible, as the more evidence you can present as part of your case, the better your chances are of winning. In a car accident case, this might mean photographs of the accident scene, or of damage done to the surrounding area. But beyond just pictures, this necessity extends into medical records, possible police reports and receipts for any payments made in the service of dealing with your injuries.

Often a large part of a case is taken up by dealing with insurance companies–both your own, and that of a potential defendant in the case (like the other driver, in the case of a car crash). Be sure to gather all documentation related to your insurance coverage so you can know what’s covered and what isn’t.

As we know, an injury doesn’t start and end at the time it occurs; its effects can linger on, and even worsen over time. If this has been the case, be sure to maintain documentation. If you’ve missed work due to your injuries, have paystubs on hand that confirm this and, just as before, be sure to maintain a tally of all the related expenses by keeping those receipts.

Initial consultations on personal injury cases may be free, but your time isn’t, and it pays to have everything in order before you go forward with a potentially lengthy case. Still, it’s the job of the personal injury attorney to make sure that things move as speedily and easily along as possible, to ensure that the client’s injuries and pain are in no way prolonged. The job is to fight insurance companies and make sure decent, working folks can get the help they need, when they need it. At the end of the day, it doesn’t get any simpler than that.