As a famous musician once wrote, “the waiting is the hardest part.” The aftermath of an accident is already overwhelming but when you’re in the midst of recovering and on top of it are going through the legal process of a personal injury claim, it’s very hard to be patient as you wait for resolution. However, what you do in the time period after the accident can play a large role in the strength of your claim and your ability to receive the maximum compensation. In today’s blog, we have 5 tips to bolster your case and ensure the opposing party doesn’t have any reason to refute your claim.
#1: Follow the Doctor’s Orders
One of our first pieces of advice for someone recently injured in an accident is to immediately seek medical care. Not only does medical care start the healing process but it also provides medical records, documentation and other evidence to prove the severity of your injuries. If you don’t seek medical care, an insurance company will likely question how injured you could possibly be if you didn’t get treatment.
This same advice applies as you go through the recovery process. Continue with all medical care recommended by your healthcare provider. If your doctor prescribes medication or rehabilitative therapies, make sure you fill and take all medications as prescribed and go to all appointments for physical therapy or other recommended modalities. Missing appointments shows that you may not be committed to your medical care or may not be injured to the extent you claim.
#2: Use Your Words Wisely
When you are seeking medical treatment, make sure to be very specific with your medical team about your injuries. For instance, give the nurses and doctors details of your injuries, your pain level and how the pain affects you, even if at first it is mild. And make sure to mention that the injuries are a result of the accident and did not appear out of the blue. If you have a pre-existing condition, make sure to detail how the injury has changed your ability to cope with the condition.
Avoid exaggerating. There’s no need to exaggerate your injuries to medical providers, so long as you are clear in your communication. If you are deposed or need to make a statement to another party, be honest and straight-forward. For instance, if you say your legs hurt so much that you can’t walk but you clearly walked to the office, the opposing party can question your truthfulness.
#3: Take Pictures and Keep a Journal
The personal injury claims process can be long and memories fade. Take pictures of any evidence you may have following the accident, that includes pictures of any property damaged like a car or motorcycle but also of details like the clothing you were wearing or shoes you had on. It is also important to take pictures of your injuries every few days until they are healed. These photographs can serve as evidence and will bolster your claim.
In addition to the pictures, keep an accident journal to document the aftermath of the accident. Try to write down the level of pain you’re experiencing, any appointments you went to that day, and other details related to the healing process and accident. Several months down the road, you may not remember these details and the journal will prove invaluable.
#4: Stay Off Social Media
During a settlement negotiation or trial if the case goes to court, anything posted on social media can be used as evidence. Insurance investigators will check your social media accounts and your relatives and friends to see if there is any evidence that could contradict the injuries you claimed to have suffered. For instance, if you claim you suffered a back injury due to a car accident but then post about a five-mile run, the insurance adjuster could use that against you. The best course of action is to refrain from social media use, especially any public social media accounts, while you are going through the claims process.
#5: Make a Good Impression
At some point in the personal injury claims process, you may need to make a statement, be deposed or testify. When this happens, it’s critical to first remember tip #2 -- use your words wisely. Do not curse and, even under pressure, try to remain calm and not get angry when questioned.
Appearances matter. Even if you’re not going to trial, an insurance adjuster and the opposing attorneys will be determining how you would be perceived if you were going to trial which will affect their willingness to settle. Dress nicely and make sure not to wear anything that could offend others.
Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, Can Help You With Your Personal Injury Claim
If you’re not a client already, Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, helps people who have been injured due to someone else’s negligence. We have decades of experience in personal injury law, investigations and the tactics frequently used to devalue your claim. When you hire a personal injury lawyer from our team, we pursue the maximum compensation for your damages and ensure you are fairly compensated for your claim.
Contact Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, for a free consultation. With our proven track record of success and our commitment to client care, we can turn your setback into a comeback.