What to do and know if you are injured in a car accident.
You Should NOT DO:
Do not give any statements (written, recorded or oral) to anyone concerning your accident or injuries without first getting our approval.
Do not make any incorrect statements about prior injuries or accidents to any doctor who treats or examines you. If you don't remember, say so.
Do not change your address or employment without notifying your attorney.
Address and Phone: Inform your attorney immediately of any change of address, telephone number or employment.
Car Repair: If your vehicle was damaged, try to obtain pictures before you get it repaired. Use color film and take a whole roll of pictures.
Medical Items: Save all pill bottles, casts, braces, and any other items from your doctors.
Photographs: Give us any pictures and videos of the accident or accident scene that you or anyone else has taken for you.
Your job: Tell us of any changes in your job, such as job duties, salary or anything else work-related.
Receipts: Be sure to obtain and save all receipts itemizing any and all expenses you incurred as a result of your accident. Receipts must be dated and contain legible and complete vendor identification.
New information: Inform us of anything you think has a bearing on the case, including extensive medical treatment or hospitalization.
Follow Your Doctor's Advice
Be sure to do what your doctors tell you to. If you are in pain and you do not see a doctor, the insurance company and the jury will not believe that you are having pain. It is very important for you to work hard to get well and to go to all of your appointments.
First Steps In Representing You
When you are first interviewed, general information regarding your case is obtained. Materials relating to things you should or should not do will be furnished to you. You will be requested to sign certain authorization forms which will allow us to obtain your medical records and other necessary information. We will notify the person who was responsible for your injury and/or their insurance company that you have retained us as your attorneys. Requests for your chart and billing information will be sent to all of the doctors and hospitals involved in your care.
Please be sure that all medical bills related to your injury are sent to our office so that we may forward them to the appropriate insurance company.
Keep Detailed Records Please be sure to record the following:
Lost work time and wages.
Other expenses resulting from your injuries, i.e., transportation, home care, etc.
Pain and suffering
Your physical limitations.
BIG MISTAKES to avoid:
Not seeing the doctor if you are in pain.
Not doing what your doctor tells you and Not keeping your doctor's appointments.
Discussing your case with anyone other than your attorney or your doctor.
Failing to tell your doctor about medical problems due to the accident.
Why Does It Take So Long?
We cannot make your claim until after the doctors have given us reports stating exactly what your medical condition is and what they expect it to be in the future: in other words, until you have reached "maximum medical improvements." Many times the doctors will be very slow in making these reports. We may even, on occasion, ask you to contact your doctor to speed up this report. If we try to settle your case before your medical condition is stabilized, you may lose money that you might be entitled to for a condition that did not show up until after your case was settled. It is important to know that your case will not be settled until the damages have been determined and all investigations to determine who is liable have been completed. It generally takes several months to gather the necessary information. If a trial becomes necessary, it can take several years to complete a case. One of the most difficult requests we make of you is to have patience. We will work as hard and fast as possible to settle your case quickly.
What Is The Value Of My Case?
It is impossible for us to tell immediately how much money, if any, you will recover in connection with your case. There is no formula and each case is unique. In cases of serious injury, the ultimate recovery is often related to the amount of insurance coverage available, as well as the nature, extent and duration of your injuries, along with an assessment of liability. As your attorneys, we feel it is our primary duty to obtain an amount of money which will fairly and justly compensate you for your injuries. We will make every effort to do this by locating all sources of money. We will advise you of our evaluation in this regard. In general, most states allow recovery of damages for the following elements of damage:
The nature and extent of injury, including whether the injury is permanent, and the amount of disability.
Medical expenses, both already incurred and reasonably certain to be incurred in the future. This includes mileage to and from the doctor or hospital.
Wage loss (past and future) and damage to property (including your motor vehicle and other possessions).
Pain and suffering.
Loss of consortium (past and future) for your spouse.
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