1. Communications. Do not talk to anyone about your occurrence except one of the lawyers or investigators in our office. You should always require identification so that you are sure who you are talking to. Do not even talk to your own insurance company or to any lawyers hired by your own insurance company without notifying us so that we may be present if we desire. We will generally want these statements taken in our office.
2. Your Doctor. You should return to each of your doctors as often as necessary and should always tell them about all your complaints. You should not minimize your ailments to your doctors as it is one of his or her best ways of knowing how to treat you. If you see any additional doctors, be sure we are advised immediately of their names and addresses.
3. Record of Complaints. Please keep a daily or weekly record of your complaints and progress. This can be very helpful, when, a year later, you will be able to recall your pain and difficulties more vividly. Please refer to the "My Day" instructions for more details.
4. Wages and Lost Earnings. Please keep an accurate record of days lost from work because of your injuries. Please refer to the "My Day" instructions for more details.
5. Accident Report and Correspondence. Furnish to us immediately any accident reports, police reports, and any letters or documents the insurance companies have sent you regarding the accident.
6. Financial Records. One of the major things in your case may be the loss of income or potential income. We will need a copy of any union contract showing wage rates, copies of your W-2 forms, and your income tax returns for at least the last five years. Please refer to the "My Day" instructions for more details.
7. Medical Records. Furnish to us immediately all relevant medical records. If you continue to see your doctor, you will need to provide our office with any new and updated medical records.
8. Medical Bills. Obtain and keep duplicate copies of all medical, hospital and drug bills. You should periodically send these original bills (keeping copies) to us for our files. Also keep records of any other expenses you may have in connection with your injury such as the hiring of extra help. All your bills should be paid by check or you should obtain and keep receipts. You should make and keep a list of all you medical bills and the costs incurred in going to your doctor.
9. Witnesses. Furnish to us immediately the correct names and addresses and telephone numbers of any and all witnesses you may learn of.
10. Evidence. If your injury requires a cast, brace, traction, or other appliance, or if your injury resulted from a faulty medical device or foreign object, save it for evidence and trial. You should notify us that you are keeping these things and when the case is set for hearing you should bring these items with you.
11. Photographs. Send us any photographs pertaining to your case which you or any of your friends have taken. Take photographs of all physical injuries that were caused by the accident, during the healing process. If you are required to be in the hospital and are receiving any type of treatment like traction or physical therapy, please notify our office so that we can have our investigator photograph you. Additionally, please furnish our office photographs of you with your family.
12. Insurance Payment for Bills. Have your own insurance carrier pay as many hospital and doctor bills under the medical payment provisions of your policy as possible. You should also have your hospitalization and insurance pay as much on your bills as possible. Doctors and hospitals are more cooperative when their bills are paid. You should not expect them to wait until your case is tried or settled to receive payment. You should, therefore, pay any balance as soon as possible.
13. Questions. We will probably not contact you until we have something definite to report. We will be contacting you for possible settlements, mediations, pre-litigation hearings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and when your case goes to trial, which may be in excess of one year from the time that suit is filed. If you have any specific questions in regard to these instructions or any other matters in regard to your case, please feel free to call or write us.
14. Informing Your Team. Be sure to keep us advised of any change in your address or telephone number. Please inform us if any of the following occur: your condition worsens; you get better; you have another accident, injury, complication or other illness; you are hospitalized; you change doctors or go to another doctor or you are referred by your doctor to a specialist; any other circumstances occur that you think will affect your claim or your health.
15. Myspace and Websites. Be sure that any information you have posted about yourself online will not hurt your case. You should assume that the defense lawyers will "Google" you and search for any online presence you may have. This may include sites such as Myspace.com, Facebook.com, Etc... You should remove any information that will be harmful to your case or any information you have posted online that you would not be comfortable having presented to a jury in your case.