We are often asked what we should do or avoid doing in order to increase the value of my personal injury case. Below are some tips to keep in mind after an accident.
1. The first mistake – talking with the insurance adjuster.
This can be on your accident benefits side or lawsuit side of your claim. The adjuster’s interests conflict with your interest. It is often easy to forget this because adjusters can be very friendly at times. Their interest is in favour of the insurance company – to save them money. Your interest is to get as much money from the insurance company as possible. Avoid talking with the adjuster if you can. Let your lawyer do the talking for you.
2. The second mistake we often see is people who do not get medical attention right away, or at all.
It is extremely important that you attend treatment as soon as possible after an accident. The first opportunity you will get is with the ambulance attendants. Do not reject ambulance assistance. If the paramedics ask if you’d like to go to the hospital please do so. Get checked out. Discuss how you’re feeling with the medical professionals. They will document your injuries. Down the road when you’ve decided to bring a claim to the insurance company, you will appreciate that you took this important step. You complained and discussed with the medical professionals from the start. Also, if you do not receive medical treatment right away the insurance company will assume you are not injured and therefore do not deserve compensation. These are issues that will come up at trial if you do not settle your case.
3. The third mistake is having unrealistic expectations of your personal injury case.
It is important that you understand the true value of your case and to appreciate that it will take a long time to reach the ideal settlement. Personal injury cases often take years to settle. Keep in mind, it is not appropriate to settle a personal injury case until all options are explored. A diagnosis, prognosis and treatment recommendations are necessary before a settlement can be reached. This can take a long time. You need to see the doctors and medical professionals. You need to get imaging done. You may need to get surgery. We will need to know the results of the surgery and other complications that may arise from it. Do not expect your personal injury case to take six months to one year. Expect to wait a while before a settlement can be reached. Taking the time to settle your case will ultimately lead to a larger settlement.
Communicate regularly with your lawyer
It is important that you keep in touch with your lawyer on a regular basis. Provide your lawyer with regular updates so that he can keep your file updated. This is especially the case if you see any specialists or other doctors that your lawyer may not know about. If any new imaging such as MRIs are done, then please provide the results to your lawyer.