Top 10 Things to Know when you Get Injured
1 – SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL CARE AND MAINTAIN CARE UNTIL YOUR PHYSICIAN RELEASES YOU
Whether that means emergency room care or seeing your personal physician you “must” receive care to recover from your injuries. You may require future surgery, physical therapy, muscle therapy or chiropractic care. Stick to the regimen as prescribed by your physicians. Preserve all paperwork they give you including receipts for payments made for co-pays, deductibles, and prescriptions. If you had pre-existing conditions such as a previous back injury and after an injury, that is worse be sure to explain to your physician a clear statement as to the difference in how you were versus how you are after the injury. If the pain is worse then say so. Medical records are an important means to prove to an insurance company what you experienced, the degree of pain you were in, what physical limitations you have and what if any future problems may occur as a result of your injury. You must be clear with your physician so the physician will properly record your statements in the medical chart. ALWAYS GET A COPY OF YOUR MEDICAL RECORDS to see what your physician is stating in the records. If something is left out then ask that it be placed in your record.
2 – WITNESS STATEMENTS/ACCIDENT REPORTS
To recover for your injuries the other person must be Liable for your injuries meaning you must prove it is their fault and they caused the accident. This may require expert witnesses and eyewitnesses from an accident. An attorney will acquire witness statements to secure the liability portion of your case. This is extremely important as witnesses may pass away or move away making it difficult to prove your case if this information is not acquired and preserved. Acquire any incident or accident report made on behalf of a police officer or place of a fall. Make sure the information has been reported correctly on the report, if not ask that it be changed by a police officer.
3 – PICTURES, PICTURES AND MORE PICTURES
Take as many pictures as you can of your automobile, the scene of the accident and your injuries. If you are injured and can’t do this send a friend out to simply take some pictures before an insurance company takes the vehicles. Documenting your injury and the scene of the accident may be the difference in the value of your case by thousands of dollars and will preserve important evidence to present to a jury. There is a lot of truth to the old saying “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Injuries heal and memories fade, preserving the visual evidence is extremely important to your case. Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible to assist with this is very important as evidence must be preserved to upport your claim.
4 – DO NOT SHARE INFORMATION WITH THE OTHER PARTIES INSURANCE COMPANY
Often insurance companies will immediately request you to sign medical authorization forms, give a recorded statement and request personal information. DO NOT PROVIDE THAT INFORMATION WITHOUT FIRST CONSULTING WITH AN ATTORNEY. Insurance companies do not have your best interests in mind but only are there to attempt to downplay your injury claim and pay the smallest amount possible. Signing these documents and providing this information can only hurt your case. Contact Dean Greer & Associates to discuss any document submitted to you by an insurance company as a result of injuries.
5 – TIME TO BRING A LAWSUIT
In Tennessee you have one year from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit to preserve your claim. Contacting competent legal counsel at Dean Greer & Associates will ensure you preserve your claim. Injuries may take over a year to either manifest themselves or to recover, often filing a lawsuit is an absolute requirement to preserve your ability to recover for your injuries.
6 – KEEP A DAILY JOURNAL OF INJURIES
Depending on the severity of your injuries you may be looking at long term healing or permanent limitations as a result of the injuries. As time goes on your memory of exactly what happened and what you felt at the time will fade. To preserve your memories of the healing process make a daily journal with entries as to your progress and how it impacted you physically. A broken leg may take 8 weeks to heal. During that period of time you may have had assistance from others, been three different casts, had to travel several miles to the doctor each time, went through physical therapy and suffered throughout that period. This information needs to be recorded for your own self to remember exactly what you have went through during the healing process. When asked by an insurance defense lawyer what are your injuries, you want to be able to tell your story with specifics as to what you dealt with. List everything from trips to the doctor, pain level after and before therapy, assistance you needed, any side effects from medications. It is never too late to start the journal. Updating your attorney of your condition and treatment is very important to your case. At Dean Greer & Associates we will keep a running record for your care and treatment updating medical information on a regular basis to stay on top of your case at all times.
7 – KEEP A RECORD OF DOCTORS VISITS
Keep a calendar of the care you have received including all doctors visits, therapy visits with mileage to each place. Keeping mileage will result in reimbursement for your time and gas having to attend appointments. Dean Greer & Associates will itemize these damages to maximize your recovery.
8 – MAKE A LIST OF ANYTHING DAMAGED IN AN ACCIDENT
In a motor vehicle accident a purse may be damaged, cell phone destroyed, things stored in the car ravaged by the collision and your clothes may be ripped. All these items have a value no matter how small and you may recover for each item. An expensive suit, designer jeans, cell phone or GPS system may have significant value. Don’t forget about these smaller items. Often times in the flurry of events from injuries these items are overlooked in the recovery process.
9 – CHECK YOUR OWN INSURANCE POLICY
When in an accident we often forget about our own insurance in favor of believing the other persons insurance should pay no matter what. There are thousands of people in Tennessee with no insurance on their vehicle, businesses and homes. In certain cases your insurance may provide recovery for your medical bills and injuries. Most drivers have uninsured / underinsured motorist coverage which will provide some recovery to you in the event the other person has no insurance. Medical payments coverage from $2000 to $10000.00 is often available for your medical bills which is often necessary when you have medical bills during the process of settling your claims. Having an experienced personal injury attorney who knows the ins and outs of insurance coverages is extremely important. At Dean Greer & Associates you will have that valuable experience to discover the best insurance options available to you.
10 – USE YOUR HEALTH INSURANCE FOR TREATMENT
When in an accident and suffering from injuries we don’t think about who is going to pay the medical bills. The first thought is the person who hit me should pay my bills. It is true you may recover for your medical bills but you may have health insurance which should pay for your medical bills. You will have to pay your insurance company back when settling your claim and this is called “subrogation”. Your personal injury attorney will negotiate for reductions in payments as well as settle these subrogation claims on your behalf to save you thousands of dollars that means money in your pocket from a settlement. Sometimes health insurance carriers including Medicare, Medicaid and Tenncare may refuse to pay your medical bills. In such a case an experienced lawyer will need to assist you to demand payment pending the resolution of your claim for injuries.