I. Early Stages
In the early stages of your claim, just after the injury itself, your primary problems are medical, not legal. Your main job is to seek competent medical attention and cooperate fully with your doctors.
However, there are some steps that need to be taken that will greatly enhance the resolution of your case at a later time.
Preserve Your Memories
During your medical examinations, be sure and fully describe any symptoms or problems because your descriptions become recorded in the chart notes.
Your own recollections will provide the foundation for the proof of your damages down the road when it is time to settle or go to trial. It is helpful to keep a journal or diary and write down your feelings and experiences and the ways that your injury interferes with your daily life. At a later date, when you’re looking back on the history of your recovery, memories tend to fade and it is helpful to refresh your recollection through your written notes.
Any written records — bills, reports, damage estimates, etc. — should be forwarded to my office.
Physical evidence, such as damaged automobile parts, should be stored or photographed.
Witnesses should be identified and names and addresses should be given to me.
II. Case Processing
Most injuries require six to nine months to resolve. Usually, it’s not a good idea to try and settle your legal claim until the doctors say you are medically stationary.
I will be in touch with you periodically to determine the progress of your recovery. You should notify me if your doctor “releases” you from treatment.
During your recovery period, you should not speak with insurance company adjusters or other representatives of the opposing side. Refer any inquires to my office.
After you are done treating, I will obtain a report from your doctor and copies of medical billings, as well as statements of lost wages.
We will determine a valuation for your claim and send a demand to the other side. Usually, the settlement process proceeds fairly rapidly from that time and we are able to obtain a settlement, or determine that negotiations are unproductive and file a lawsuit.
Please feel free to call me if questions come up about your case. Please remember that any contact from insurance companies or the opposing party should be referred to me.