Seeking compensation in a personal injury claim is a long and complicated ordeal. Even when liability seems clear, newly-injured victims may feel overwhelmed by the legal process. It is harder to think clearly right after an accident, but first steps are important. Everything an injured victim does may have an impact on the outcome of his or her claim. Today, we discuss steps you can take to help maximize the value of your personal injury claim.
At Jay Trucks, our Grand Rapids personal injury lawyers are experienced and ready to help. We have been representing injured victims for decades, recovering millions on their behalf. If we represent you, we will work tirelessly to recover the maximum amount of compensation possible. Learn about your legal options by calling our law offices 24/7 and setting up a free case review.
Case Reviews – No Cost, No Risk. Call: (800) 762-8623
Do Not Delay Getting Medical Care
Getting medical care immediately after a car crash or any personal injury is something we talk about at Jay Trucks a lot. It is a critical step as it creates a medical record that you can link back to the accident. It can also make a huge difference to your health. Waiting to go to the emergency room for hours or days after an accident may severely limit your ability to recover from your injuries.
In addition to the initial examination at a nearby hospital or emergency room, it is also important to:
- Follow your doctor’s plan of care completely
- Continue your medical treatment, including keeping your doctor’s appointments
- Consistently and accurately document your medical costs and injuries from day one
- Neglecting to seek and continue medical care is one of the biggest ways injured victims hurt their claims.
Preserve Accident Scene Evidence
Seeing to your injuries, and the injuries of any passengers who were riding with you, is the first priority. Preserving evidence at the scene can also help your claim. This step is important whether you were involved in a car crash or had a slip and fall in a grocery store aisle. Evidence disappears quickly, so try and preserve as much of it at the accident scene as possible by:
- Taking photos: Include photos of the full scene, property damages, your injuries and any debris or equipment involved
- Getting copies of video footage: Check for surveillance, dash cam or security camera footage that may be available
- Asking witnesses for contact details: Try to get them while they are still at the scene – an attorney can follow-up later
- Recording facts about the scene: Small details could be important – such as no posted warning sign of a hazard
- Writing down what you remember: Do this as soon as possible – details are quickly forgotten after a trauma
Be Careful Speaking to the Insurance Company
Insurance adjusters are well-trained at making injured victims feel comfortable enough to open up. They know victims are still recovering and can be easy to catch off-guard. However, be aware that innocent statements made in normal conversation may later be used against you.
- I feel fine – could be used to imply you are not really hurt or only have minor injuries
- I feel guilty about what happened – may be used to show you were partially at fault
- I was not supposed to be there – you were trespassing
- I should have been more careful – you had an idea something was unsafe
If you hire a qualified attorney, he or she can communicate with third parties, including the insurance company, on your behalf.
Avoid Social Media Activity
What happens on social media is usually not at all like real life. People try to present things as more fun, for example. However, posting anything on social media during an injury claim is a bad idea. The other side will almost certainly search for posts that seem to show you are not that injured. Something as simple as having dinner with friends could be misinterpreted as you living it up at a party. It makes you seem dishonest and can severely damage your credibility.
We also strongly warn against thinking that you can protect your social media accounts with privacy settings. That is not true anymore, and it is not a worthwhile risk if being fairly compensated is important to you. In short, browse social media all you want, but do not post or allow yourself to be included in any posts throughout your personal injury claim.
When it Comes to Injuries – Honesty is Best
Do not exaggerate the extent of your injuries as it will backfire and badly hurt your claim. That said, if you were severely hurt and are having a lot of pain, do not downplay your suffering either. Be straightforward and honest about your injuries.
What if You Have Preexisting Injuries?
For starters, if you have a preexisting injury or medical condition, you still have the right to seek compensation if an accident made them worse. Make sure to tell your attorney about it though. This information is always found out during the legal process. It is better for your attorney to know about it immediately. Then he or she can plan to relay those details to the other side in a controlled way that helps, rather than hurts, your claim.
Our Attorneys Are Ready to Protect Your Rights
At Jay Trucks, client satisfaction is a top priority, and we are dedicated to recovering maximum compensation for the injured victims we represent. If you are unsure whether you have a case, you can find out during a free initial case review. After this meeting, you can decide if you want to move forward with a claim. If we represent you, there are no upfront costs to pay. We do not get paid throughout the legal process or until we recover compensation for you.
Millions Recovered for Our Clients. (800) 762-8623