Your personal injury lawyer can either make or break your case after filing a lawsuit. Experience is an important factor, as well as your lawyer’s desire to win. Some of the most successful personal injury lawyers are very competitive. Here are some things to keep in when you find yourself in a lawsuit for your personal injury case following an accident:

1. Staying ahead of deadlines.

The legal world is full of deadlines. At every stage, something is due. These deadlines are set by the law firm internally, by courts, and by state and federal law. Missing an important deadline can really hurt your personal injury case; missing some deadlines can put an end to your case. Whoever is handling your case needs to have an automatic system for calendaring dates. Reminders for deadlines should be automatically sent out regularly to those working on your case.

2. Being on the offensive.

When you only react to what the other side is doing, rather than being on the offensive, you’re going to get knocked out. You need to constantly be thinking and acting to keep the insurance company and its attorney on their heels. As soon as you let off the gas, the other side (insurance company) can start controlling the narrative. Always pick the battleground. When you’re picking the battleground, you get to pick the battleground that’s most favorable to you.

3. Understanding every detail.

Details matter. Whether you win or lose can come down to one single fact. If your attorney is too busy or lazy to look at the details, this will hurt your case. How well does your attorney understand the physics and forces that led to your car accident? Does he or she understand how those forces caused your injury? How well does your attorney understand your injuries and the lasting effect those injuries may have on your life? In order to get the best result, your personal injury lawyer needs to be extremely knowledgeable, if not an expert, on all the subjects dealing with your case.

4. Having a plan.

As the saying goes, if you’re failing to plan, you’re planning to fail. Without a plan, the other side will control how the case goes. Sit down with your attorney and ask him or her what the plan is for your case. At this point, you and your attorney should be able to agree a core message or story for your case. Also, you need to be able to answer some important questions: What important documents do you need? What witnesses or parties do you need to interview or depose? What type of experts do you need and who will they be? How flexible will we be on pushing back deadlines? How will you respond to settlement offers that may come along? The more you and your lawyer answer these questions, the more likely you will succeed.

5. Hiring excellent experts.

An expert is someone that an attorney hires to help explain complex subjects that the rest of us don’t know as much about. For example, medical doctors are used in personal injury cases to explain medical treatment and how the injury can affect the patient’s life in the years to come. In work accident cases, such as a forklift accident, a fork lift safety expert would explain how a forklift driver should safely use a forklift without hurting other people.

Experts are critical. In some cases, experts are required. Choosing the wrong expert can destroy the credibility of your personal injury case. If your expert doesn’t believe in your case and isn’t familiar with the facts, it is going to get ugly in court. On the other hand, confident, knowledgeable, prepared, and experienced experts can be the key to your success both before, during, and after trial.

If your personal injury lawyer wants to win your case, he or she will do these things. Keep your lawyer accountable and ask questions. Never assume that he or she is putting enough time and thought into your case.