A large part of the reason we exist as a personal injury law firm is to aid and assist the seriously injured and their families in obtaining the best possible settlement and outcome for their case.
We do a lot, but we cannot do it all. There are responsibilities which rest solely on the injured person and their family.
First and foremost, seek appropriate medical treatment, follow doctor’s orders, and keep appointments! Document everything and keep a record of treatments, pain, symptoms, and recovery.
Obtain a copy of the police report if the injury was the result of a traffic collision. Occasionally a police crash report will have errors, and it is imperative to check for accuracy.
Also, be careful that all of your communications with your doctors and attorneys are 100% honest.
If you are not telling the truth, or are exaggerating the truth which is another form of lying, you will not be believed on other points.
Be aware that symptoms may develop over time. The adrenaline which surges through your body immediately after the accident may mask some symptoms which may flare up later in the day or even later in the week.
According to Kimberly Bishop, North Carolina personal injury attorney, in her article “The Client’s Role in NC Injury Claims,” injuries from a car accident can leave you with long-term symptoms. Your doctor should be consulted to find out what current and future treatment you may need.
“If all your current bills and future losses are not factored into your settlement you may find yourself in debt later on. You should not have to pay twice for the negligence of another.”
Be sure to keep track of all of your expenses, lost wages, and medical bills resulting from the injury. You hope to be compensated fully, so the numbers need to reflect the true cost of the injury to you.
If you cannot pay for treatment, that information should be relayed to the provider and to your attorney and your insurance company. Sometimes arrangements can be made to allow you to continue to receive the treatment you need for your best physical recovery. You must be able to explain any gaps in treatment. In the insurance company’s and possibly a juries’ eyes, no treatment means no injury.
Your medical records will be forwarded to the at-fault driver’s insurance company when it’s time to present a settlement demand. This information will help place a value on your case. Your attorney is working hard to present your best case to the insurance company of the at-fault person. You should do your part to do the same for your case.
Keep in touch with your attorney and staff. Provide any new phone numbers, change of address, and email addresses. They will need to know how you are progressing, what you are actively doing to recover, and any new symptoms or problems you are experiencing. They are working to gain your best settlement, and the more facts they have, the more they have to work with.
Together, we can be a winning team!