67.3% of lawyers interviewed in a “lawyer happiness study” believe that being a lawyer is more stressful than other professions. In a specialty like personal injury law you have agreed to represent someone whose livelihood seems to have been impacted by another party’s negligence. This makes building and organizing that case very high-stakes. No two cases are alike. But over the 25 years Christie Farrell Lee & Bell has been a firm of Indiana personal injury attorneys, certain habits and best practices have served the team well. Here’s our thoughts on how to start organizing and supporting a negligence or injury case on behalf of a plaintiff in Indiana.
Gather Documents and Evidence
The first step to building any injury or accident case is gathering information. Photos of any visible injuries or trauma, along with medical records, are the beginning of this process. It’s important for the plaintiff and their loved ones to keep photos of the injury as the healing process occurs. They can document experiences in a journal or make video diaries.
Outside capturing the short and long-term specifics of any injury or medical need that resulted from negligence, it’s also essential to collect evidence of negligence from the scene. Any police report from the incident will reveal the details documented by the first responders. In cases related to property or premises liability, an insurance claim may serve a similar role. In addition to these written accounts it’s essential to have a representative visit the scene personally and take photos as soon as possible. This is especially true in cases like Indiana trucking accident injuries. Cleanup crews may remove evidence within mere hours after an incident. Eyewitness statements and video footage from security cameras can be other valuable sources of proof when building an injury case, especially a car accident case.
Know the Statute of Limitations
Indiana has a 2 year statute of limitations on all personal injury, medical malpractice, and product liability cases. An Indiana city or county being sued for negligence must be given written notice, called a tort claims notice, within 180 days of the incident. The State of Indiana must be given notice of any claims it has been negligent within 270 days of the incident.
Organizing each case is different based on the story of the person you are representing. But ensuring these basic pieces of evidence are in place and that everyone understands the goals from the beginning is a common element of many successful cases we see at our firm. Representing people injured in Indiana is our passion. If you’re in need of an advocate or a colleague to represent a client, contact us today.