Alix Digout – April 2018
When you have been injured in an accident, your main priority should be your treatment and recovery. Here at MDW Law, we take care of the legal aspects of your claim so you can focus on your wellbeing.
With that said, here are 5 things you can do to help make your personal injury claim run as smoothly as possible:
- Provide Updates – communication between clients and lawyers is paramount to a successful personal injury claim. A fruitful personal injury claim is built on a foundation of evidence documenting your injuries and their impact on your life. You should update your lawyer on a regular basis concerning your injuries, ongoing symptoms, treatment, lost wages, and out-of-pocket expenses. Remember, even small things that may not seem important could be relevant to your personal injury claim. Make sure to inform your lawyer so they can decide what information is significant. In addition to providing updates, you should respond to your lawyer’s requests for information and documentation in a timely fashion.
- Keep a Personal Injury Journal – the reality of personal injury claims is that most do not resolve quickly. In certain cases, it takes a few years before it is appropriate to consider settlement. Keeping a journal throughout the process is an organized way to compile information that may be beneficial to your damages claim. You should document your symptoms, names of treatment providers, your energy levels, sleep disturbances, and any limitations or restrictions your experience during your daily activities. You should also keep track of any lost income and use of sick days resulting from the accident, as this is relevant to a claim for damages. It is a lot easier to write down these tidbits as you go, rather than try to remember years later.
- Keep Your Receipts – the purpose of a personal injury claim is to put you back into the place you would have been, at least monetarily, had the accident not occurred. “Special Damages” are out-of-pocket expenses paid as a result of an accident. Out-of-pocket expenses commonly incurred in personal injury matters include: over-the-counter pain relievers and medications, braces, ice packs, the cost of treatment not covered by private insurance, and costs associated with hiring housecleaners, snow removal or childcare needed while attending medical appointments. In order to put forth a successful claim for special damages, there must be documented evidence of the expense. Keep receipts together and forward them to your lawyer on a regular basis, as these expenses can be recovered through your claim for damages.
- See Your Medical Providers Regularly – not only is regular attendance at medical appointments important to your recovery, it helps document your injuries and their on-going impact on your life. Much like keeping receipts to prove special damages, a successful personal injury claim must have medical documentation (evidence) supporting your injuries. Without medical evidence, you may not receive the compensation to which you are rightfully entitled. Similarly, you should follow through with recommended medical treatment. Anyone who has been injured in an accident has an obligation to do all they can to “mitigate” their losses. You should attend any and all “reasonable” medical treatment if it can help improve your injuries. Failure to mitigate by not participating in required treatment can negatively impact the amount of compensation you receive.
- Be Mindful of Your Social Media Presence – any and all information you place on the internet may need to be made available to the defendant’s insurance company/legal counsel. Defendant insurance companies frequently search the internet to look for claimants’ Facebook pages and Instagram accounts. They look for photos of claimants performing sporting activities and being involved in building projects and landscaping. Please keep this in mind when participating in sharing information electronically. Photos you may think are harmless or not relevant to your personal injury claim may impact settlement and result in significant reductions to your damage awards.
If you have been injured in an accident and want to speak with a lawyer regarding your options, the Personal Injury Team at MDW Law would be pleased to meet with you for a complimentary consult.