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  • Writer's pictureLeitner Varughese Warywoda

Top Tips for Managing a Successful Personal Injury Case (PART I)

If you have been injured due to someone else's negligence, it is important to take the necessary steps to protect your rights and receive fair compensation. At Leitner Varughese Warywoda, we understand that dealing with a personal injury can be overwhelming and confusing. Our experienced legal team has put together these top tips to help you navigate the process and manage your personal injury case successfully.

1. Seek Medical Attention Immediately

The first and most important step is to seek medical attention immediately after an accident or injury. Your health should always be your top priority, and seeking prompt medical treatment can also help to strengthen your personal injury claim. It is crucial to have any injuries properly documented by a medical professional to support your case.

Not only is seeking immediate medical attention crucial for your health, but it is also imperative for your personal injury claim. In the aftermath of an accident, you may be in shock and your body might not manifest symptoms immediately. In such cases, a medical professional can diagnose unseen injuries that may later escalate into severe health problems. Additionally, swift medical attention creates an official record of your injuries linked directly to the incident, making it harder for the opposing party to dispute their responsibility. Remember, insurance companies or liable parties may argue that your injuries are not related.

Gathering evidence is crucial in building a strong personal injury case. Take photos of the accident scene, your injuries, and any damages to property. Collect contact information from witnesses and keep records of any medical expenses or lost wages due to the injury. This evidence can be vital in proving liability and the extent of your damages.

2. Gather Evidence

How to Obtain a Police Report

In New York, obtaining a police report after an accident is a critical step in building your personal injury case. Depending on the precinct, you can usually get a copy of the police report by visiting the precinct where the accident was reported or directly from the New York State DMV. If you are unable to visit in person, you can request a copy by mail. Simply complete a "Request for Copy of Collision Record," form (MV-198C), and send it, along with the required fee, to the address indicated on the form.

Remember, the police report may contain vital information about the circumstances of the accident, including details about the parties involved, witness statements, and the officer's observations at the scene, all of which can be invaluable in supporting your case.

How to Obtain a Death Certificate

In the unfortunate event, obtaining a death certificate in New York is a necessary step for various legal procedures. If the death occurred in New York City, you can request a copy of the death certificate from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. For deaths in the rest of New York State, you can request it from the New York State Department of Health. In both instances, you will need to provide the deceased's full name, the date of death (or range of years to be searched), your relationship to the deceased, and the reason you need the certificate. Remember to have your valid ID ready as proof of your identity. Mail your request or apply in-person, or for New York City specifically, you can apply online. There are fees associated with obtaining a death certificate, so be sure to check the respective department's website for the most current fee schedule. Having a copy of the death certificate can be crucial in situations involving wrongful death claims, as it provides official proof of death and the cause of death.

3. Consult with an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer

At Leitner Varughese Warywoda, we specialize in a broad range of practice areas, including but not limited to personal injury

car accidents

medical malpractice

construction accidents

nursing home negligence

and wrongful death.

Our dedicated legal team is committed to delivering personalized attention to each case, ensuring that our clients' rights are protected and that they receive the maximum compensation possible.

Our firm boasts an impressive record of success, having obtained over $200 million in verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients. This demonstrates our unwavering commitment to achieving justice and the best possible outcomes for those we represent. Our attorneys have been recognized by prestigious institutions and peer reviews, solidifying Leitner Varughese Warywoda's reputation as a leading law firm in the field of personal injury. Be assured, when you entrust your case to us, you are backed by a team of legal professionals who will relentlessly fight for your rights.

Navigating the legal system can be complex and confusing, especially when dealing with a personal injury case. Consulting with an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you understand your rights and options, as well as guide you through the legal process.

4. Be Careful What You Say

It is important to be careful about what you say following an accident or injury. Avoid discussing the details of your case with anyone other than your lawyer, as anything you say can potentially be used against you in court. It is also crucial not to accept any settlements or sign any documents without first consulting with your lawyer.

5. Retain an Attorney Even if You Want a Quick Settlement

It's a common misconception that if you're looking for a fast settlement, you don't need an attorney. However, retaining an attorney can often lead to a higher quick settlement. Remember, insurance companies are often more concerned with protecting their bottom line than providing fair compensation. They may offer an initial settlement that seems substantial, but, in reality, it might not adequately cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. An experienced personal injury attorney knows the true value of your claim and can negotiate effectively on your behalf. They understand the tactics that insurance companies use and are equipped to counter them. An attorney can assess the full extent of your damages, gather comprehensive evidence, and ensure that you receive a settlement that truly reflects the impact of the injury on your life. So, even if you're seeking a speedy resolution, engaging legal representation can significantly enhance your chances of a more favorable outcome.

6. Beware of Insurance Companies Tactics

Insurance companies are businesses first and foremost. Their primary aim is to minimize payouts and maximize profits. Recognize that they may employ various tactics to achieve this goal. One such strategy is recording your statements. Be aware that what you say can be twisted and used against you to devalue your claim or even deny it outright. It is not uncommon for an insurance company to take statements out of context or misconstrue them to favor their case.

Another tactic insurance companies often resort to is offering a quick, lowball settlement before you have had a chance to retain an attorney. This is done in the hope that you will accept a lesser amount than you might be entitled to, thus saving the company a substantial sum of money


Insurance companies might also delay the claims process, knowing that the longer they can stretch it out, the more desperate you might become to settle and move on. They may also dispute the extent of your injuries or argue that your injuries were pre-existing and not a result of the accident.

Remember, insurance companies have teams of experienced adjusters and lawyers working to protect their interests. It is crucial for you to have a competent and experienced personal injury attorney on your side, protecting your interests and fighting for the maximum compensation you deserve.

7. Keep Track of Your Progress

Documenting the progress of your injuries and recovery is essential in a personal injury case. Keep track of any medical treatments or medications, as well as how they affect your daily life and ability to work. This information can help demonstrate the extent of your damages and support your claim for compensation.

Be Cautious of What You Write Before Retaining an Attorney

Be aware that anything you write prior to engaging an attorney in your personal injury case could potentially be produced in the discovery phase. Discovery is the process in which both parties involved in a lawsuit share information that is relevant to the case. This can include written statements, social media posts, emails, text messages, or any other written communication. If you make written comments about your injury or accident before you have legal representation, these statements could be used against you. For example, something as seemingly innocuous as a social media post mentioning that you're feeling "better" could be interpreted as evidence that your injuries are not as severe as claimed. Always remember, it is best to limit what you write about the accident or your injuries until you have consulted with an attorney. Their guidance will help ensure that you do not inadvertently harm your case.

8. Stay Organized

Organizing all important documents related to your case is crucial in managing a successful personal injury case. Make copies of everything, including medical records, police reports, and insurance documents. Keep them organized in a folder or binder for easy access.

Utilize Technology to Stay Organized

In this digital age, numerous apps are available to help you stay organized by allowing you to take photos or scan documents directly from your phone.

Evernote Scannable quickly scans stacks of papers and automatically crops and enhances the image quality. It even sorts and organizes these scans into high-quality PDF or JPEG files that can be shared or stored in your note.

CamScanner is another popular option. It turns your device into a portable scanner, allowing you to scan, store, and sync any content across multiple devices. Its optical character recognition (OCR) feature extracts texts from images for editing or sharing.

Finally, Genius Scan specializes in creating high-quality scans within seconds. It has smart page detection, perspective correction, and image enhancement, ensuring your documents are clear and readable.

These apps not only simplify the process of keeping track of your critical documents but also ensure you have access to them wherever and whenever needed. Remember to consult with your attorney about what to capture and store, as this will aid in managing your personal injury case more effectively.


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