Personal Injury Dos and Don’ts
DOs: What To Do After Suffering A Personal Injury
Thoroughly document the scene right after the incident: This includes photographing the scene, getting witness information such as full name(s), address(es), phone number(s) and other observations.
Contact and wait for law enforcement officers to investigate the incident, if at all possible: Law enforcement often tries to avoid investigating accident scenes, such as minor car collisions with supposedly minor injuries. Be persistent and patient about the arrival of law enforcement.
Immediately seek medical treatment from a doctor: Delays in medical treatment allow the defense to assert that the injury was insignificant.
When in doubt, get transported for medical treatment by emergency personnel: This helps minimize arguments about the supposed insignificance of an injury.
Be clear, thorough and accurate when discussing the incident and your injuries with health care providers: The defense “playbook” is to comb through medical records to find discrepancies about the incident or the nature and extent of injuries.
Use your healthcare insurance to pay for medical bills: This can ultimately help put more money in the injured person’s pocket because the healthcare insurer may not be entitled to any or full reimbursement from monies recovered in a personal injury case.
Follow your healthcare provider(s) directive(s) to a “T”: Failure to do this opens the door to a defense argument that the injured party did not treat reasonably.
Contact a reputable personal injury attorney: Immediate post-injury consultation with a personal injury attorney helps ensure that all steps are taken to obtain a maximum recovery.
Keep a “To My Attorney” journal: This is a confidential document to help the claimant remember all relevant facts if and when a case is presented many months or years after an incident.
Photograph or video all injuries over time: Pictures can be worth thousands of dollars, in addition to a thousand words.
Be aware of how you conduct yourself in public after the incident: Insurance defense companies often engage in surveillance of personal injury claimants.
DON’Ts: What Not To Do After Suffering A Personal Injury
Unilaterally provide statement about the matter to an insurance company: Insurance companies often ask improper and confusing questions that trap an unknowing, unprepared, and unrepresented claimant.
Unilaterally sign a release that allows third parties to obtain records about the matter: Insurance companies often obtain an overbroad array of private, sensitive records they are not entitled to review.
Unilaterally treat with a chiropractor: Juries often have a bias against chiropractors. Only treat with a chiropractor if the doctor recommends or prescribes such treatment.
Discuss the incident or your treatment with third parties: These discussions are not privileged and are often misinterpreted and misunderstood.
Discuss the matter or your treatment on social media: Improper postings have become a treasure trove for insurers and parties defending claims.
Agree to resolve your claim before you have reached maximum medical improvement: Settlement forever ends the case and all injury claims arising from the incident at issue. Premature settlement can deprive a claimant of money that could have belonged to them.
By following this list of “DOs and DONT’s”, those who sustain a personal injury will be better prepared when they consult with their attorney for the recovery of any damages and liability.