Should I go to a medical professional for treatment after an auto accident?
If you are having symptoms related to the accident, please make sure that you are going to see a medical professional. Your injuries must be well documented to present to the insurance company and to the jury. While there is a tendency for some people to not like going to the doctor, please remember that the insurance companies and defense lawyers view a lack of treatment as a sign that you are not injured or hurting.
Who is responsible for my medical bills after an auto accident?
Unfortunately, the law provides that you are responsible for payment until the responsible party agrees through settlement to issue payment (usually in a lump sum), or a jury renders a verdict in your favor for your medical bills.
If my health insurance or my car insurance make payments on my medical bills, will they get paid back out of any settlement or verdict?
It depends. Likely, your health insurance or car insurance will get paid back on what is called a subrogation or lien claim.
Who is responsible for my lost wages after an auto accident?
Unfortunately, the law provides that you are responsible for making up for your lost wages until the responsible party agrees through settlement to issue payment (usually in a lump sum), or a jury renders a verdict in your favor for your lost wages. If you have access to a short term disability policy or some other form of payment while you are off work, please make use of it. But you need to tell us about any short term or sick time benefits, as under our laws, you are still entitled to make a claim for that time lost from work.
Do I need to take photographs of (1) the accident scene, (2) the vehicles, or (3) my injuries?
YES, YES and YES.
Photographs are extremely important pieces of evidence. Photographs of the accident scene will help us prove liability. Photographs of the vehicles may help us prove liability and damages. Photographs of your injuries will help us prove damages.
Can I talk about my auto accident on my Facebook or Twitter account?
NO and NO.
If you have any sort of social media account, it is a good idea to eliminate all information concerning your accident, your injuries, and your treatment. Many people are torn apart on the witness stand by information distributed through these sites. In fact, it is a good idea to get rid of your social media websites during your case. At a minimum, please make sure that your settings are such that your information is intended to remain private. For those people closest to you who you may want to update on your condition, please do so through phone communication. Remember: the insurance company, the defense lawyers, and everyone else can gain access to your social media accounts. Keep in mind: ANYTHING YOU SAY CAN AND WILL BE USED AGAINST YOU
Should I talk to the insurance company representatives?
After you hire legal representation, NO.
This includes communications with (1) the responsible driver’s insurance company; (2) your insurance company; (3) your health insurance; and (4) others.
If anyone attempts to contact you concerning this accident, do not discuss it with anyone (except of course your treating doctors). The best thing for you to say is: “I’m sorry, but my attorney has given me strict instructions not to talk about my case to anyone.”
Again, keep in mind: ANYTHING YOU SAY CAN AND WILL BE USED AGAINST YOU
Should I keep a journal, and if so, what should I write about?
YES, a journal is very important.
If you haven’t started one, start now. Go back and try to journal as much about the past starting after the accident as you can. This will help refresh your memory later on.
Suggestions for things to journal about:
(1) Pain Level. What is your pain level on a 0-10 scale?
(2) Doctor’s visits. Note each visit.
(3) Missed Work. Note each day, hours, lost wages.
(4) Missed Opportunities. Note everything you weren’t able to do that day or things that you did that caused you pain and limitation.
Do I need to notify you if I intend to file for bankruptcy while my case is pending or if I am already in bankruptcy?
YES, bankruptcy affects who controls the legal claim. It is extremely important that you discuss with us PRIOR TO filing for bankruptcy.
Do I need to notify you if I intend to file for social security disability while my case is pending or if I am already on social security disability?
YES, filing for social security affects your claim. I need to know PRIOR TO your filing if you intend to make a claim for social security disability benefits.
How much is my auto accident case worth?
It depends. Each case is different. Each case is unique. It is impossible to answer this question until we are able to fully evaluate your case. This generally happens shortly after you either (1) finish medical treatment, or (2) are told by a medical professional that you have reached your maximum improvement through medical treatment.