Most often this conversation begins during an initial consultation with a potential new client. It may go something like this:
Potential Client: “… This should be a slam dunk case. I didn’t do anything wrong.”
Me: “I understand what you’re saying. However, these things are usually not so clear cut. Often there is a difference between what happened (i.e., the truth) and what we can prove.”
Potential Client: “What do you mean?”
At this point, I typically explain a few things:
1. BURDEN OF PROOF WITH CIVIL CASES
With the rise in recent years of popular legal dramas like “Better Call Saul,” “Suits”, and my wife’s personal favorite, “Drop Dead Diva,” many people have become familiar with the legal process (or something closely resembling the process). In a civil matter* the person making the claim or alleging the harm is called the Claimant/Plaintiff and has the obligation (i.e., burden) of providing evidence to support their claims. This can be their own testimony, however, their testimony alone is often contradicted by the other person involved in the incident. Without additional evidence (e.g., pictures, texts/emails, other documents), this is the classic “he-said, she-said” case, which in most cases will simply be denied by the insurance carrier.
2. IMPORTANCE OF ATTORNEY-CLIENT TEAM
Let’s face it. Your attorney has the legal knowledge to help you navigate your claim and/or lawsuit; however, your attorney wasn’t present when the incident/accident occurred. This means you are the best first-hand source of information and/or documents to help your own case. The more documents and information you can gather for your attorney as quickly as possible, the better it will be for your case. A little extra “team” effort with your attorney at the start of your claim can save lots of hassle and issues later on.
3. EVIDENCE MUST BE PRESERVED
It is vital that evidence is preserved immediately after the incident/accident so it is not lost or destroyed. This means you should collect all documents related to the incident and inform your attorney of every possible means of obtaining additional evidence. Sometimes this is contact information for a potential witness or contacting businesses or homeowners in the area where the incident/accident occurred to see if they have a door camera or local surveillance video that captured the incident.
A good team is essential so you can be made whole and get the compensation you deserve.
If you have been in an accident or have a disagreement you need assistance with resolving, please call me at 928-985-9800 or book a free consultation here or scan the code below with your phone’s camera.
* Civil. adj. that part of the law that encompasses business, contracts, estates, domestic (family) relations, accidents, negligence and everything related to legal issues, statutes and lawsuits, that is not criminal law. https://dictionary.law.com/Default.aspx?selected=195