6 Things Personal Injury Claimants Must Do after an Injury

December 6, 2016 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman
6 Things Personal Injury Claimants Must Do after an Injury

1.See a doctor immediately.

If you are injured in an accident, you should immediately receive medical treatment from an emergency room, general physician, or a 24-hour clinic. Any delay in seeking medical treatment is not a good idea. The reason you need to see a doctor, from an insurance claim/personal injury case point-of-view, is to start documentation of your injury; obviously, it is also to begin treatment for your injury. It is also a good idea to get checked out after an accident in which you think you are not hurt, just to make sure nothing serious is wrong and you just haven't felt it yet. Toughing it out, or delaying for other reasons, will only create room for a defendant and the jury to question the legitimacy of your injury later on. Serious injuries show up late all the time, but it is difficult for juries to understand this. If you cannot afford to pay out-of-pocket, don't be concerned about it; a future settlement and/or PIP coverage will reimburse you. Additionally, you could use your private healthcare and have them reimbursed later, as well. The point is, you want to seek medical treatment as soon as possible after an injury caused by an accident. Generally, 72 hours is an agreed upon time frame that's considered reasonable by insurance companies.

2.Tell your doctor about all your medical issues resulting from the accident.

Make sure you tell your treating doctor exactly what happened and describe in-depth what injuries you have obtained. Everything that you tell the doctor, will be documented in your file. This is a continuation of the documenting your injuries point made above. Later, in litigation, that information will be used in discovery, depositions, mediation, or possibly in a trial. In relation to number one on this list, be sure to mention areas of concern or pain, even if they seem minor. On the contrary, do no exaggerate, fabricate pain, or embellish any injuries. You want to be as honest as possible. Remember, this information is discoverable later.

3.Follow your doctors' orders.

Following all of your doctors' orders is vital to a speedy recovery. It also helps to build a stronger case by showing you are willing to proceed with any suggestions and orders that may improve your recovery. Doctors' orders may include things like seeing a physical therapist; keeping your referral appointments for things like an evaluation with an orthopedic surgeon, or just keeping up with all of your medications. In addition to helping your case, these things will make you feel better, faster, by allowing a quick and solid recovery. Remember, you may see many different medical providers (and some many different times) throughout the course of your recovery, so it's important to make notes during your doctors' visits. This will help you to keep things in order and allow you to more easily recall the information when being asked about it later.

4.Keep everything.

You should plan on keeping records and copies of everything when you are going through any legal situation; an injury case is no different. Again and again, the same information will be needed, you'll need to recall dates from a year ago, or you'll need the name of a specific doctor. Keeping all your records will be useful in these situations, and more. The best plan of action is to get a quality file folder and start using it. Everything should be kept until the case is completely over (and maybe for a little longer). You should keep your medical records, police reports, notes about appointments, diagnosis, and treatments, attorney contracts, witness information, etc. If it's about the case or it's printed on paper, categorize it, date it, and file it away. And while we're discussing keeping things, you should always keep your doctor's appointments as well. Making sure you try to go to every appointment is important because of the stepping-stone nature of doctors' visits. For example, if you were to miss your chiropractic therapy, this could delay your next appointment in which you were to receive a more aggressive treatment. This could then delay an orthopedic evaluation; and so on. So really, this tip is about keeping organized and maintaining a strict regimen in your recovery.

5.Do not discuss your case with anyone other than your attorney or your doctor.

You should not discuss your case with anyone who is not directly working for your interest! Likewise, the key word in the above statement is your; your attorney, your doctor. An insurance agent or opposing attorney may lead you to believe that telling them a small detail is no big deal, or that you're required to tell them. Either of these may be true, but your attorney should be present each and every time you talk to someone about the case (or they should at least know about it). You should also be careful what you tell friends, acquaintances, co-workers, etc. Obviously, you don't need your attorney to talk to your friends, but you should limit what you tell other people. If they have a mouth or fingers, they are at risk of telling or posting something that could hurt your case later. Insurance adjusters are notorious for being "friendly" while they contact you and ask you to answer a few questions. Do not, under any circumstances, give an adjuster a recorded statement; even if they're from your own insurance company. Later, they may become the defendant if litigation is required. It's really simple: always seek the advice of counsel first. Adjusters are trying to figure out a way to pay you less for your settlement. All of their questions may seem quite harmless, but later on, they will be twisted and compared to other statements you make in order to find any discrepancies. It may sound like a sad reflection on the whole situation, but you really shouldn't trust anyone that you are not paying to help you.

6.Obtain representation; everyone else will.

For the best outcome in your case, you should find an experienced personal injury attorney early on, consult with them, and then retain them. Once you have hired an attorney, you can rest easier knowing that they'll be the one dealing with every aspect of your claim; and that someone with experience has your best interests in mind. The insurance companies will have representation, any other defendants will have representation, so you should have representation as well. It's really that simple. Some insurance companies tell consumers that attorneys will only take a part of their settlement to do something they could just do for themselves. They obviously want you to believe this. And of course, the attorney does charge for their services. But they only require payment after you receive a settlement. It has also been proven through research, that claimants who hire representation receive proportionately larger settlements on average—even after fees are removed. So if you are injured because of someone else's negligence, the question should not be if you will hire an attorney, but which one will you hire.

Dolman Law Group

When it comes time to choose an attorney, we hope you will consider the Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA. We encourage all our potential clients to do their research. Check out our Google reviews, our ranking on Avvo.com and Superlawyers.com, and verify our background on the Florida Bar's website. We have built our entire business on reputation and word-of-mouth. We do not rely on big budget TV advertising or pay-for-clients referral services to keep unaware clients rolling in. Instead, we trust that our former clients will recommend us through online reviews, by telling their friends, and by supporting us on social media. It's not always easy, but that's how an honest business operates, and we like it that way.

If you or someone you love has been injured due to someone else's negligence, don't settle for anything less than you deserve. At Dolman Law Group, one of our experienced personal injury attorneys will sit down with you, go over your case, and answer any questions you may have during a free consultation. Don't hesitate to make that first step towards financial recovery today. Call us at (727) 451-6900.

Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765

(727) 451-6900



Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has successfully fought for more than 11,000 injured clients and acted as lead counsel in more than 1,000 lawsuits. Always on the cutting edge of personal injury law, Matt is actively engaged in complex legal matters, including Suboxone, AFFF, and Ozempic lawsuits.  Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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