How to Manage Your Personal Injury Case
This guide will assist those who have been involved in a car accident from avoiding common pitfalls and protecting your interests appropriately.
Don't Talk to the Other Party's Insurance Company...YetYou are involved in a car accident, a police report is filled out, you have notified your own insurance company, and perhaps you have begun or completed medical treatment. One of the first things happens in a car accident case is that the other party's insurance company usually will call you to get your recorded statement. Often times insurance companies are "rushed" to try and settle or close out their cases and will make you feel as if this is a necessary part of the process. Actually, it usually isn't. You should speak with an attorney first before making any kind of recorded statement to the insurance company that may affect the outcome of your case. Experienced attorneys are practiced in this area and are aware of how to protect your interests in this regard.
Do Obtain Your Medical Records and BillsWhether or not you file suit or try and settle with the insurance company beforehand, you will need a copy of your medical records. Keep good records of the facilities you were seen by and when so that it will be easier to track them down once completed. Better yet, once you have been released from a provider, order the records at that time.
Do Follow the Instructions of Your Medical ProfessionalsIf you were injured and are or have sought treatment, it is important to follow the recommendations of all of your health care professionals. If they ordered diagnostic testing, they referred you to a specialist, they recommended physical therapy, or something else, follow it. The reasons are twofold: 1) they are the experts in how to treat your injuries, and 2) your health is one of your greatest assets. A less important reason next to your health is that it looks better to your case if you are compliant with the recommendations of those treating you; it shows that you are experiencing pain but are doing everything the professionals have suggested.
Along these lines, in Illinois, since you have two years from the date of the accident to either settle your case or file suit, it is very important that you seek all of the medical treatment you need to recover as best you can before the case is settled. Very rarely are you able to get any medical expenses reimbursed AFTER the case has settled for additional treatments you receive AFTER settlement.