What you should do and not do after you've been injured
DO GET MEDICAL TREATMENT
If it's a serious injury, seek immediate medical attention. Provide a detailed account of how the accident occurred and any symptoms that you are experiencing. Give your doctor your consent to perform all necessary exams and follow your doctor's advice relating to the treatment of your injury. Make sure you follow up on any recommended visits with other medical professionals such as physician-specialists, physical therapists, psychologists, social workers or occupational therapists and make sure you comply with all recommended treatments.
DON'T DISCUSS YOUR ACCIDENT
Try to avoid discussing your accident, the circumstances of your accident and your injuries with anyone other than your doctor before you speak to an attorney.
DO GET WITNESS INFORMATION AND TAKE PICTURES
Try to identify any witnesses to the accident and, if at all possible, try to get their names, telephone numbers and addresses. This will make it much easier for your attorney to investigate and evaluate your case. If at all possible, try to take photos and/or videos of the accident scene, the surrounding areas and your injuries.
DON'T TALK TO INSURANCE COMPANIES
Try to avoid talking to or giving any recorded or written statements to any insurance adjusters or claims' agents before you speak to an attorney.
DO KEEP A DIARY
Do write down everything you can remember about how the accident happened as soon as you can. If possible, keep your diary updated on a daily basis with the following information: any medical treatment you received, your injuries, any diagnostic tests you had, any symptoms or pain you are experiencing and the severity of those symptoms or pain, any prescribed medications or treatments and any persons (professionals or otherwise) that you consult about your accident. Include dates of service for any doctors, medical facilities or prescribed medications and keep track of any out of pocket expenses you incur, lost wages or time off from work.
DON'T SIGN ANY DOCUMENTS
Sign any releases or documents given to you by anyone including those given to you by a third party and/or an insurance company before you speak to an attorney.
DO CONTACT A PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY
Do contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to learn your rights. Make sure you ask about the attorney's experience in handling similar cases. Ask the attorney to evaluate your case and give you an idea of how much the case is worth. Be sure to ask what fees and expenses you are required to pay and carefully review any retainer agreement prior to signing it.
DON'T SETTLE YOUR CASE BY YOURSELF
Don't settle your case until you have spoken to an attorney who has explained your rights to you and answered any questions you may have.
DO GATHER DOCUMENTS FOR YOUR ATTORNEY
Try to gather copies of the following documents for your attorney before you see her: accident reports, medical bills and be able to tell your lawyer which bills have been paid and by whom and which bills remain outstanding, all medical reports and records, all reports of any tests performed, your pay stubs, photographs of the scene of the accident, the surrounding area and/or your injuries, and any insurance policies.
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