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Planning on suing? Here are 3 things to think about first

It was the early morning when you attempted to cross a street in a crosswalk and were hit by a passing truck. You're fortunate to be alive, but you've suffered some life-changing injuries that will take many years to recover from. In your mind, you want the driver to be held responsible, but you're worried that if you say you're getting an attorney, your claim may suddenly seem malicious or like you want more than you're being offered.

The truth is that many insurance companies and individuals prefer working with attorneys, because they're educated and willing to negotiate with the knowledge to back up their claims. Attorneys are familiar with laws and aren't necessarily emotional about the case, making it easier for insurance agents and the other party to communicate with them without interruptions or anger.

If you decide to sue, there are a few things you should keep in mind before you do. Here are three things you should remember.

1. You can make a final demand first

Instead of moving straight to a lawsuit after a crash, it's beneficial to negotiate with the other party's insurance provider. Many insurance providers don't want to go to court, so if you give them an amount you want to make the case go away, they may just meet your demands.

2. You have limited time to sue

The statute of limitations limits how long you have to sue regardless of the kind of injury or situation you're in. If you wait beyond the timeframe the statute provides, then you'll lose your right to take the other party to court and to make a claim.

3. Make sure your case is solid

If you've been offered a fair settlement by the insurance company but don't think it is, make sure you have the evidence to back up why you need more before you go to court. Have a genuine legal claim and support for why the company's offer isn't fair. If you're just aiming to get more without good support, you may be wasting your time.

These are a few things to keep in mind if you're planning to sue. There are times when it's a good idea and times when it isn't, which is something to discuss with your attorney.

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John McCabe wrote "The Investigation and Analysis of Personal Injury Cases" in the best-selling book Personal Injury Practice in North Carolina. This is the book that other lawyers follow in handling personal injury cases.

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Cary, NC 27511

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