1. HIRE AN ATTORNEY IMMEDIATELY. Persons injured in an accident negligently or intentionally caused by another may bring a claim for their injuries. But, too often, the injured person tries to manage the claim alone and quickly gets lost in the process or, worse, gets taken advantage of. It is extremely important that you do the right things after an accident otherwise you might impair the value of your claim. Keep in mind that not all lawyers have experience in all areas of the law. In most cases, you are best served with a lawyer who knows the ins and outs of personal injury law. At vegas west attorneys we have lawyers experienced in the personal injury arena who can help you to maximize your recovery.
2. DO NOT DISCUSS YOUR CLAIM WITH ANYONE BUT YOUR ATTORNEY. If anyone calls you regarding your claim, immediately advise them that you are represented by counsel and provide them with your attorney’s contact information. Do not discuss any part of the claim with anyone unless your attorney directs you to do so. Keep in mind that insurance companies do not represent your interests. Anything you say can be, and most likely will be, held against you.
3. DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING. Do not sign any documents and/or checks sent to you regarding your accident without first consulting your attorney. By the same token, make sure to forward to your attorney any correspondence you receive relating to your claim.
4. KEEP A RECORD. The expenses you incur because of the accident are part of your overall claim for damages. As such, keep a record of all expenses including bills from your health care providers, receipts for drugs and prescriptions, wage loss information and any other costs related to your case. When you have concluded your medical treatment, make sure to communicate all your expenses to your attorney for inclusion in your claim.
5. TRACK YOUR LOST WAGES. The wages you lose because of the accident are also part of your claim for damages. Be sure to obtain copies of written work releases and/or restriction notices from your doctor and updated versions when applicable. Also keep copies of all paycheck stubs, tax returns or other income documentation from before the accident through the date you return to work full time.
6. KEEP YOUR ATTORNEY UP TO DATE: Accurate and up to date information is essential for effective representation in any legal matter. Therefore, inform your attorney of any of the following:
1. A change in your address or telephone number;
2. A change in your place of employment;
3. The date a physician releases you from care;
4. The date you return to work full time;
5. Names of all treating physicians, hospitals and facilities you have treated with; and
6. Any other change in circumstances that might be relevant to your claim no matter how unimportant it may seem at the time.
7. FOLLOW YOUR DOCTOR’S INSTRUCTIONS. Following your doctor’s instructions is good advice always, but, during personal injury litigation, it is essential. If you fail to follow your doctor’s instructions, the defendant’s insurance company will most definitely use it against you. It goes without saying that you should also keep your doctor advised of all developments in your medical condition to ensure comprehensive treatment and to maximize your chances of a full recovery.