Your own actions during any personal injury lawsuit will play a big role in the amount of compensation you are able to recover.
Sadly, many people make major mistakes long before they get their case to a lawyer.
If you haven’t started to handle your case yet, you’re in luck. You can start taking the right actions right now—and you can start avoiding major pitfalls. This will maximize the value of your personal injury case.
Here’s what you need to know.
#1) Ignoring Your Doctor’s Instructions
When you get your initial medical treatment, your doctor will provide you with a set of specific instructions.
If you fail to follow the instructions the insurance company will use that failure against you. They can do so in a number of ways.
- By using your failure as proof that you aren’t suffering as much as you claim to be.
- By claiming that you failed to “mitigate” the results of your accident or injury, and so they should not have to pay the full value of your losses.
- If you have a soft-tissue injury or an injury that can’t be found on a scan they may even claim you are faking the injury.
Get those instructions in writing and follow them to the letter, even if they cause difficulties and inconveniences in your life. If you have a specific situation, such as living on a second-floor apartment while being told to avoid stairs, then you should discuss that with your medical provider so that you can get an exception for entering and exiting your home.
#2) Being Afraid to Get Follow-Up Care
Sometimes the full extent of your pain, suffering, and injury doesn’t make itself known until much later in the process. Many of our clients are afraid to seek additional medical care because they’re afraid they won’t be able to handle the bills.
In reality, we often help our clients gain access to top-notch physicians so they can get the sum total of all the care they need and deserve. It’s our job to get those bills reimbursed by your insurance settlement.
#3) Talking Too Much About the Accident
If you’re going to talk about the accident, try to restrict the conversation to your spouse, your doctor, your lawyer, and your therapist. The latter three types of communication are privileged, and can rarely be used against you. Other people can be subpoenaed to speak at a deposition. When we’re relaxed, when we’re casual, when we’re just trying to tell our friends what happened, we tend to be a little bit unguarded. It’s very easy to let something slip that an insurance company can use against you.
This goes double for social media. During your case, we recommend staying off social media altogether. You never know when an innocuous picture, comment, or post can harm your case.
#4) Dealing With Insurance Companies Without a Lawyer
Calling a lawyer before you contact any insurance company—even your own—can ensure that you avoid denials and delays. It also protects you from adjusters who are specifically attempting to lead you into making a statement or providing records which can give them grounds to deny or devalue your claim.
When you call us first, you protect yourself while meeting the reporting requirements of the insurance companies. Of course, this does require you to move fast, but in many cases this will be an outstanding decision.
Have you hired a lawyer yet? If not, contact us to schedule a free case review today. We can help you make the most of your personal injury case.
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Meet Mr. Richman
SCOTT B. RICHMAN, ESQ.
Mr. Richman is the Managing Member and Founder of Richman Law Firm PLLC. In his role as Managing Member, Mr. Richman oversees the day-to-day operations of the firm and handles the litigation of the most complex legal matters across a vast array of practice areas and disciplines.