Things can be hectic after an accident, which is why working with a personal injury lawyer can ensure you are on the right path to recovering compensation for your losses.
At Turner Law, we want our clients to focus on getting better and rebuilding their lives while we handle legal issues and insurance companies. And while no victim is expected to litigate their own case, a few simple steps can go a long way in helping build a strong case.
Here are a few important things to keep in mind that can help your attorney as your personal injury case moves forward:
1. FOLLOW UP WITH YOUR DOCTOR.
Your health and well-being are more important than anything, which is why you should always follow up with your doctor. Keeping consistent with medical care can also have positive effects for your case. Why?
- Not following up can put your health at risk. Even if you “feel fine” or believe you can tough it out, there may be medical issues you don’t know about that can become emergencies.
- Not following up with your doctor may provide ammunition to insurance companies that want to argue you were not injured or really hurt in your accident, even if you were.
- Following up with doctor appointments creates a verifiable record of your injuries, your pain and suffering, and how they affect your life – all important pieces of evidence in your case.
2. LISTEN TO YOUR DOCTOR’S RECOMMENDATIONS AND CONTINUE TREATING.
Just as we advise clients to follow up, we also encourage them to listen to their doctor’s recommendations. There are a few reasons why:
- Your injuries may not fully heal and you may risk future health problems that do not become apparent until after your personal injury case is resolved.
- You will not be able to recover compensation for health problems you experience after your case is resolved, even if they are related to your accident (i.e., medical bills, lost income, etc.).
- Insurance companies may think your injuries have healed or that you are no longer in pain, even if that is not the case, and use that to pay you less.
Medical treatment is important for your health and it can provide evidence about your injuries, pain and suffering, and related losses. Continuing treatment and heeding your doctor’s advice can also limit insurance companies from arguing that because you waited to seek care or stopped treating, you weren’t really injured or seriously hurt, even if you were in pain all along.
This is not just a common tactic used by insurers to limit liability; it is also a lesson about how important documentation and paper trails can be when it comes to supporting your claim.
3. SAVE IMPORTANT RECORDS & DOCUMENTATION.
If you can, collect and preserve as much documentation as possible about your case and keep records in a safe place so you can easily find them.
Important things to save:
- Medical and mental health records related to your injuries.
- A list of doctors and specialists you have seen.
- Letters or e-mails from insurance companies.
- Copies of accident reports or police reports if available.
- Employer notes and documents showing missed work / lost income.
- Photos or videos of an accident scene, property damage, and visible injuries.
- Contact information for all involved parties and witnesses.
- Gathering documentation can be tough for victims who suffer severe injuries or have other important things to address. Our team at Drake Law Firm can help obtain the necessary information needed for your case and ensure it is used appropriately.
4. WRITE DOWN EVERYTHING YOU CAN REMEMBER ABOUT YOUR ACCIDENT.
As soon as possible after your accident, write down everything you can remember about what happened or have someone write it down for you.
Personal injury cases take time to resolve, which can cause us to forget certain details and or have trouble remembering important facts. By writing everything down after your accident, you can record details while they are still fresh and be able to reference them later if needed.
5. DON’T SPEAK TO THE INSURANCE COMPANY.
Insurance companies are not on your side. They represent their own policyholders and their own interests. They employ many tactics to make their case stronger and avoid paying what you deserve. Remember:
- If the insurance company calls, you can tell them you have a lawyer and give them your attorney’s contact information. You have no obligation to speak with insurance companies.
- Be wary of settlement offers, especially early in your case when you are still treating and do not yet know the extent of your damages. Insurance companies want to quickly settle claims for less than victims deserve. If you have received an offer, we can help assess whether it is fair.
- Insurance companies are corporations that put profits over people and they use many tactics to dispute valid claims. This includes getting using your own words against you.
6. DON’T DISCUSS THE DETAILS OF YOUR CASE.
Even good and honest people can find themselves in trouble when their words are misinterpreted or taken out of context. In addition to not speaking with the insurance company, it may be wise to avoid discussing too much about your case with others or posting too much about your case on social media.
It is easy to say something that can be taken out of context and, in some cases, that’s exactly what insurance companies want. To protect your right to compensation, it is best to avoid discussing your case in too much detail.
7. DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK YOUR ATTORNEY QUESTIONS.
At Turner Law, we want our clients to feel informed about their case and their rights. This is why we tell them to bring any questions they have to our team so we can address them immediately. As a personal injury victim, it’s natural to have questions, so you shouldn’t feel you are inconveniencing your attorney if you do.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a preventable accident, Turner & Turner can explore your options for seeking the financial recovery you deserve. Our award-winning attorneys serve clients across Michigan.