1. Recorded statements: You should cooperate with your own insurance company – simply be careful about the nature and extent of your injuries unless you really know what you’re talking about. Sometimes conditions worsen and subsequent medical care may disclose problems unknown to you. Your own insurer may oppose your uninsured or underinsured motorist claim so not all questioning by your own company is about helping you. Your insurer may be trying to defeat or lessen your claim so you should not guess about your condition.
2. Medical Bills – You may have medical payments protection under your own insurance. You should submit your bills for payment to your own insurers if possible. Do not expect that the striking driver’s insurance will pay your bills as they accrue. It won’t pay until your claim is over and you have signed a release. You should only give a medical release to your own attorney.
3. Duty to Notify – You should always promptly notify your own insurance of an incident. To be safe you should also notify the insurer for the striking driver. Late notice may be a defense, so you want to be sure that all insurers have prompt notice. This is one area, among many, where having your own attorney is very helpful.
4. Medical Care – You should always seek the medical care you need. Failure to seek care will be argued against you as an indication that you weren’t hurt. On the opposite hand, it is wrong and potentially devastating to your claim to “run up” medical bills or exaggerate your injuries. Juries like sensible people who seek a proper diagnosis, get timely and appropriate care and follow their doctor’s recommendations.
5. Evidence Preservation – It is always a good idea to have photos of the involved vehicles or whatever condition or product caused your injury. Similarly, you should have progressive photos taken of yourself and any medical devices (splints, stimulators, braces, etc.) that you have to use. Your bruises and scars will fade before a trial occurs. Witnesses should also be identified and interviewed.
6. Hiring an Attorney – It is usually in your best interest to involve an attorney soon after your injury. An attorney will give appropriate notices, clarify insurance, help preserve evidence and witness testimony and in general be able to structure your claim in ways a layman cannot. We handle personal injury claims on a contingent fee basis and it does not cost any more for us to be involved from the beginning and to help you all the way through. If we take your case, we will advance expenses and you will only pay us from the recovery we obtain for you. Delay in hiring an attorney is not a good idea as there are deadlines for notices and statutes of limitations for claims that may cut off your rights.