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How to Prepare for a Consultation With a Car Accident Lawyer

When injured in a car accident, it's common to feel bent out of shape. Your car might be a compressed chunk of metal. You might be sitting in the hospital or at home nursing some nasty injuries. And going to work, school, or about your daily routine? Yeah ... so much for that. It's normal to vent (and we certainly encourage you to vent). But, as they say, revenge is a dish best served by your lawyer. So here's some advice for preparing for your initial consultation with a car accident attorney. 1. Make a Timeline Cases are built on the facts. Your lawyer is going to want as many details as possible, and will press you for specifics, specifics, specifics. What happened, when did it happen, how did it happen, and in what order did it happen? It's a good idea to make a timeline with as much information and detail as possible. This will get you thinking about the case from a legal perspective, and give your lawyer a prepared account of the facts right off the bat. 2. Bring Records and Documents Written documentation is very important to lawyers, and gathering it is a major part of preparing a case. Prepare copies of accident reports, insurance information, witness contact information, medical records, photographs from the scene, and names of doctors, nurses, police officers, chiropractors, and medical facilities -- everything connected with the accident. You can use a checklist to gather records in advance. 3. Be Prepared to Answer Questions Lawyers are trained to tease out information and details with questions. You should be prepared to answer all of them as best you can. Besides being a tool for figuring out what happened, your responses tell a lawyer other, more subtle things too. Like whether you'd be a good client to take on and how a jury might respond to you on the witness stand. It's never too early to strategize! 4. Ask the Questions You Want to Ask Lawyers are trained to be lawyers, but no one is trained to be a client. The best way to get information is to ask an attorney. Feel free to ask a lawyer about her experience handling similar cases, background and training, fees, and what you should expect going forward. Knowing what to expect can bring relief and help make sure you and your lawyer are on the same page going forward. Related Resources Find Personal Injury Lawyers in Your Area (FindLaw's Lawyer Directory) Car Accidents (FindLaw's Learn About the Law) Top 7 Car Accident Lawsuit Questions (FindLaw's Injured)
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When to Sue a Chiropractor for Injury

When a chiropractor’s medical treatment causes a patient injury, that patient may be able to sue. While chiropractors are not medical doctors, they can still be liable for malpractice or professional negligence. State laws differ on what the action might be called, but each cause of action generally considers the same elements to prove a claim against a doctor or a chiropractor. Injures alleged against chiropractors can be serious. For example, it was discovered that a famous model, Katy May, died at the age of 34 allegedly as a result of chiropractic treatment. After suffering from an on-set fall during a photoshoot, she hurt her neck. When the pain did not resolve itself, she sought chiropractic treatment. As a result of the treatment, an artery in her neck was pinched which caused her to have a stroke and die following the treatment.Although this situation may sound like a textbook case of medical negligence, that may not necessarily be the case. Establishing Medical Malpractice Against a Chiropractor Proving a medical malpractice involves showing that your treating doctor did not exercise the usual standard of care that a reasonable doctor, in your doctor’s situation, would have exercised during your treatment, and that it was that failure to exercise that standard of care that caused the injury. What this means is that if your doctor was doing the same thing that any other doctor would have done in their shoes, then regardless of the result, there likely would not be a case. In Ms. May’s case, if a lawsuit is ever filed, it will need to be shown that the chiropractor failed to exercise the usual standard of care that chiropractors generally exercise. For instance, if it is discovered that May did not receive x-rays before having her neck adjusted, then the doctor could possibly be considered to have not exercised the usual standard of care. May’s representative or family would still need to prove that the injury was caused by the chiropractor’s actions, and not some other cause. When to Sue a Medical Professional You generally have at least one year to file your case. In some states, medical malpractice or negligence claims have a different statute of limitations than injury claims. Additionally, there is one important requirement that applies to medical malpractice claims in most states, you may be required to provide notice of the claim to the medical professional, and the hospital, before filing a lawsuit. In California, for instance, you must notify the doctor and hospital within 1 year of discovery (but not more than 3 years from the date of injury), and once you notify them, you have to wait 90 days to file a lawsuit. Deadlines to file lawsuits against medical professionals are strictly enforced, which can be very burdensome especially while dealing with an injury. If you think you have a claim for medical malpractice or negligence against a chiropractor, doctor, dentist, or other health care professional, contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. Most injury attorneys provide free consultations over the phone and may even be willing to look over your medical records free of cost. Related Resources: Injured in an accident? Get matched with a local attorney. (Consumer Injury) Medical Malpractice (FindLaw’s Learn About the Law) 3 Moms Sue Hospital and Doctor for Botched Deliveries (FindLaw’s Injured) Can You Sue a Doctor for Lying? (FindLaw’s Injured)
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