If you’ve been in a major automobile accident and have suffered injuries, you know that getting your life back in order is no easy task. It’s going to take time and patience to begin to heal and recover some of what you have lost. As you begin to reassemble your life, remember to go slowly. You want to make sure you are taking steps to protect yourself and your future.
The first step is simply to be cautious. After a major accident, it’s natural to reach out to anyone who takes an interest in your situation and seems like they want to help. But it’s important that you resist the urge to talk to the wrong people. Some of the phone calls that you will receive are from insurance agents. They have one job: to get you to settle for the least amount of money possible.
Not only are they experienced negotiators, many of them are actually lawyers and anything that you tell them they will use to their advantage. They may even ask to record what you say. Don’t say anything about your condition or the accident. Just ask for the name of the individual who is calling and take down any information that they give you.
In the meantime, you will want to make certain that you have a copy of your insurance policy and that you have read through the details so you understand your coverage.
Doctors and Documentation
In the initial stages of a major accident, your doctor will probably be ordering tests and x-rays in order to help clarify your diagnosis and make appropriate treatment recommendations. Listen to this information very carefully. Make certain that you understand all of the ramifications of what is said and get it in writing.
Keep a file folder with you and bring paper and a pen to every appointment. You will want to take notes so that you can keep an accurate record of what is happening. If your doctor orders any additional tests or you attend a consulting appointment, make certain that you ask for a copy of the report so that you can add it to your file.
Finally, if you are unable to return to work, ask your doctor to sign a letter indicating that you are unable to to work. Make certain that a copy of that letter is included in your file.
Your Work Needs
Getting your life back on track means getting back to work. Of course with some injuries, getting back to your normal routine make take some time. As you are healing, start to collect the paperwork that you will need regarding work and your income. If you receive regular pay stubs from your employer, make sure you have a copy of your most recent ‘stub.’ Also, find your taxes from last year, since this will have additional information regarding your income. If your job description calls for you to be able to perform specific physical tasks that are not possible following your injury, make certain that you have a copy of your job duties. You might need this later on.
Almost everyone will tell you that following a serious injury, the best thing you can do is to find an experienced attorney to represent you?—and they are right. The truth is, insurance companies are experts at finding ways to limit their liability. Every step of the way, they will look for ways to cut corners in an attempt to minimize their costs. They will go so far as to request all of your medical records, in an effort to suggest that some of your injuries were a ‘preexisting condition.’
Whether you choose Jeffrey C. Metler or another personal injury attorney, it helps to know that you have an advocate on your side. Your biggest job following an accident is your family, your health and your income. If you have a competent attorney working on your behalf, you can focus on the things that matter and let the attorney make sure you receive the maximum compensation to which you are entitled.