How To Maximize Your Recovery After An Accident

 

 

If you’ve been in an accident and make a claim, you will want to make sure to get the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled to receive for your injuries and losses. Often, the keys to getting full compensation after an accident are to document the facts, have good proof of your damages and have a lawyer’s assistance in making your claim promptly after the accident. Here are some steps to make sure you have this.

At the accident
As soon as possible, write down everything you can about the accident, including the time, weather and what you saw. Also write down the names, addresses and phone numbers of all witnesses.

Doctor’s help
If you feel pain or other symptoms, see a doctor. Even if there is no pain, visit your doctor to be safe. There’s a chance the accident caused injuries you don’t feel yet. Also, some insurance adjusters (and juries) think they should award less money to a victim who didn’t see a doctor, since this sends a message that you were not hurt as badly as you claimed to be.

Be sure to keep records of all health care providers you visit. This includes every doctor and other health care provider you see that either treats you or who you consult with but don’t pursue treatment.

Also be sure to follow instructions from doctors and other health care providers and keep all appointments. If you are having problems with any recommended treatment, consult your health care provider. Many accident victims start treatment but then discontinue it, which conveys to an insurance adjuster or court that the injuries aren’t as bad as the person claims.

Photos
Take photos of your injuries and the accident scene. These can be better proof of what happened than your own verbal description given later, as photos can do a good job of portraying the extent of your injuries. Along with taking photos of your injuries right after the accident, take them at various stages of your recovery.

Keep track of your expenses
This includes doctor bills, repair bills, prescriptions, therapy, travel costs, and all other expenses associated with your accident. Try to keep receipts for all of your accident-related expenses. Also keep records of earnings lost due to accident-related absence from work (including part-time work). If you have a history of working overtime or getting bonuses, include this in your records.

Document your injuries
Keep a record of all the injuries and pain resulting from the accident. Start keeping track as soon as you can after the accident and during your recovery period. Include in your records the location of the pain, extent of it, how long it lasts, how frequent it occurs and other details.

Keep records of other effects of your injuries
If you miss a family event, party, class or vacation; if the accident forces you to change your routine or affects your hobbies; if you are unable to do things at home, work or elsewhere because of the accident; if effects of the accident hurt your marriage or cause other problems, write this down. Try to make your notes at the time these effects happen.

Don’t talk to insurance adjusters without your lawyer present
Once you retain a lawyer, insurance adjusters will be notified of this. At this point, adjusters are prohibited from contacting you and can communicate only with your lawyer. Some may try to contact you anyway, hoping to get you to settle your claim early and for little money. Tell them you are represented by a lawyer and to stop contacting you. Notify your lawyer immediately about the adjuster’s conduct.

Seek legal help promptly
The faster you seek legal help, the faster your lawyer can start interviewing witnesses, obtaining evidence and preparing your claim. In addition, getting a lawyer’s help early is important so that you will be advised of all of your legal rights and duties as well as the different kinds of damages for which you are entitled to receive money.

Don’t rush to settle
After an accident, many people are in a hurry to accept any settlement from an insurance company just to end the matter. But rushed settlements without knowing the full extent of your injuries and losses almost always mean a smaller recovery and that you will end up paying for some of your medical bills and other expenses yourself. Because of this, it’s usually best to settle your case only after you have recovered to your pre-accident condition or reached your maximum recovery. When you reach these points, you will be in a much better position to know what is fair compensation for the injuries and losses you suffered.

These are just some ways to help make sure you get all you are entitled to receive after an accident. If you are in an accident, even a small mistake can reduce the amount of compensation you recover. Avoid problems by taking the right steps. If you have questions about these or other steps to help your claim, please call us. We welcome the opportunity to help you

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