Having been a personal injury attorney and medical malpractice lawyer for more than 34 years, I have some insights I would like to share with you.
Whether your personal injury claim was caused by a car accident, a slip and fall or doctor’s negligence there are some universal do’s and don’ts that will help you keep you calm and sane. While no one looks forward to being involved in a personal injury claim or lawsuit, these tips should help to make your case as simple as possible.
1. DON’T- Discuss your case with anyone: except personnel of your attorney’s office. Refer any person making any inquiry to your attorney and inform him or her of all such inquiries. And write down the name and telephone of anyone attempting to contact you in regard your personal injury claim and give the information to your attorney
2. DO – keep all of your appointments, if your personal injury matter involves seeing a doctor for treatments or further care. It is very important that you follow your doctors’ advice and keep all follow up appointments. If referred to another healthcare provider, go! If you are unable to keep an appointment, call and arrange for a new time.
3. DON’T keep any information about your injuries from either your lawyer or your doctor, even if you think this information is obvious.
4. DO keep all appointments with your lawyer and respond promptly to all correspondence from your attorney. If you are unable to be at an appointment cancel the appointment and arrange for a new date. If you receive calls or letters from your lawyer, reply at once; delay may be detrimental to your case.
5. DO keep a record of all expenses connected with your matter. Save explanation of benefit forms received from your insurance company (showing what they paid), bills and receipts for doctors, prescription drugs, hospital, appliances, repair estimates and other bills, your attorney will ask for them, it is best to keep them in one location, i.e. file folder or large envelope in chronological order.
6. DON’T get angry. Keep a calm head. Personal injury cases can take a long time to resolve.
7. DON’T forget that the defendant’s insurance company is on the other side of your case. It does not represent you and it does not have your best interests in mind.
8. DO maintain contact with your lawyer, ask about anything you do not understand, and communicate your thoughts and concerns. Remember that your lawyer’s paralegal can answer many questions.
9. DON’T listen to legal advice from friends, family, and other amateurs. Everyone has “heard of case just like yours” this is impossible. Every case is unique and no two injuries are the same. You hired your lawyer because you trust him or her. Accept their advice, they have your best interests in mind. Listening to others can drive your crazy.
10. DON’T discuss your case with strangers, remember “Loose Lips Sink Ships.”
11. DO keep a positive attitude, this is another challenge in your life and it too shall pass.