When people get injured, whether it is life altering or a minor car accident, most just want to focus on getting better and not worry about dealing with insurance, keeping records, etc. It’s important to remember that failure to follow the simple steps outlined below can drastically reduce the money you receive for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. With a little forethought and good record keeping, there is a higher likelihood that you will be fully compensated for your injuries.
Take photographs of your injuries and the damage to the vehicle in which you were riding.
Make sure your lawyer is aware of all doctors and hospitals providing you with treatment. Consult with your attorney before, not after, you do something that might affect your case, including changing of doctors.
Keep & forward copies of all bills for medical treatment, car repairs, rental cars, out of pocket expenses, etc. to your attorney.
Your Job: Notify your attorney at once of any changes in employment, raises or reductions in salary, or loss of job. If you are required to miss any work due to your injuries, keep them informed of all work missed and dates that you return to work. If self-employed, keep a record of all times you are unable or less able to perform your work.
Keep a daily notebook or journal about your injury and recovery in which you note each day how your injury affected you. You should note the amount of pain you experienced that day and how much activity you were able to engage in, whether or not you missed work, any activities that you couldn’t take part in because of your injuries and any other inconveniences you may experience. For best effect, the entries should be made each day. Above all, the entries should be truthful.
Do NOT discuss your case with insurance adjusters or with any person connected with the other parties in the accident. Should you be contacted by any such people you should advise them that your attorney advised you not to discuss your case. If you don’t have an attorney, get one. Most attorneys will represent you in these kinds of situations on a contingency basis (no money up front). Adjusters will often try to use your statements against you at a later date.
Do not rush your treatment or end it too soon just so you can settle your case and get some money. Follow your doctor’s instructions and do not disobey his/her instructions.
Do not sign anything dealing with your claim until you have received an attorney’s instructions or approval.
Do not go against your doctor’s orders! Failure to follow the doctor’s orders or to keep scheduled appointments will enable the liability carrier to claim that some of your injuries are your own fault.