You have been in an accident. Now what? The following are some simple tips that will help you maximize your compensation when pursuing a personal injury claim.
1. Take photos of the accident scene and of your injuries.
As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. If you are in an accident, take pictures of the accident scene and photos of any property damage. This will assist you greatly when conveying how the accident occurred. As well, photos of your injury (bruising, cuts, scars, etc.) help show where you were injured and how the injury is healing.
2. Seek medical treatment.
Simply saying you are hurt is not enough. A court or jury will need to see that you are receiving treatment. If you are not receiving treatment, then you are leaving your claim open to the argument that you are not seeking medical treatment because you do not need it or want it. As well, if you refuse treatment be ready for the possibility that a trier of fact will assume you do not want to go through the hassle of treatment. Always ensure that you follow treatment proposed by your doctor.
3. Do NOT rush.
It can take months, if not years, to determine the true extent of an injury and how it will impact someone. Therefore, there is no need to rush. As well, litigation is a long process, and many things are out of your control. Do not go into a claim thinking it is a short process or that the insurer will settle when you deem it convenient. If your expectation is that this is a quick process, then a personal injury action is not for you.
4. Social media can be your enemy.
If you think that there is no way for an insurance company to find out what you are doing, think again. Most people make their social media profiles public. This means that anyone can see what you are doing and compare it to what you say you can do. I always recommend that clients stay off social media or to be aware that whatever they post could be used against them.
5. Keep track of your medications.
If you are required to take medications following an accident, keep a list of those medications including the purpose and dosage of the medication. As well, I always recommend that you go to one pharmacy and one only for all your prescriptions.
6. Do not exaggerate.
This is the single biggest issue facing those injured in an accident, especially those who suffer soft tissue injuries. People with soft tissue injuries are often shocked by the fact that their injuries are not believed by members of their community, including doctors. This can lead to people exaggerating their injuries because they desperately want validation of their suffering. Often this adversely impacts their credibility.
7. Do not minimize your pre-accident health condition.
Even though someone may not think it, past medical history is relevant to a personal injury claim. Failure to be forthright with doctors or lawyers can had adverse impact on the claim. Doctors can change their opinions if certain information was kept from them. As well, the direction of a claim taken by a lawyer can be impacted by keeping relevant information from the lawyer.
8. Try to get back to your normal life.
No one likes a malingerer. Therefore, the best advice is to always try to go back to your normal activities as best you can, including attempting to return to work. This will improve your credibility but also help you to overcome your injuries and put you back on the course to a productive life.
9. Not hiring a lawyer.
Personal injury claims are more complex than people realize. There are issues such as liability, damages, limitation periods, assessments, treatment, etc. A seasoned personal injury lawyer will be able to tell you your rights and also help you get the most for your injuries.
10. Pick the right lawyer.
Believe it or not, a lot of people pick the wrong lawyer. You can always research lawyers online. However, always make sure to focus on the lawyers with years of experience in the personal field and those that have trial experience. Furthermore, always make sure that you look at recommendations or testimonials from former clients and other lawyers.
If you or a loved one have been in an accident, please call me for a free, no hassle consultation.