Being injured in a traffic accident – especially one caused by another driver – can be a harrowing experience. If this recently happened to you, we are so sorry for the pain and suffering you are going through. We know how frightening it can be for your health and wellness to be impaired, in addition to the added expenses of your medical care and treatment, which can be an even heavier burden if your injuries have or are presently preventing you from working or earning an income.
Your insurance company is supposed to step in and help during this time – that’s why you have insurance in the first place. Unfortunately, many are determined to go to great lengths to fight your claims in order to deny your compensation, or pay out as small an amount as they can. A skilled and aggressive personal injury attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve so that you can recover and move forward. However, there are some things you should be aware of when going up against the big insurance companies, and in this blog, we’ll share them.
Here are a few crucial dos and don’ts after being injured in a traffic accident in Arizona:
Do: seek medical attention
Obviously, you’ll want to be seen by a doctor or medical professional if you sustained clear injuries from the accident in order to have the greatest chance of making a full, complete recovery. However, many people make the mistake of declining going to the hospital or seeing a doctor because they don’t think they were injured, only for the ailments to present themselves later. Your health should be your top priority, so take the time to get checked out before just assuming that you’re okay.
Additionally, seeking medical attention adds legitimacy to any damage claims you make in the future. By not doing so, the other party will likely argue that you weren’t really hurt in the accident, or that your failure to seek medical assistance right away exacerbated or prolonged your injuries, and your damages could be reduced accordingly. In short, it is better to be safe than to be sorry!
Don’t: neglect your doctor’s orders
Similarly, it is vital that you follow the medical treatment plan you are given when you are pursuing a personal injury claim. Whether the health care professional prescribed you certain drugs, instructed you to attend physical therapy, to schedule follow-up visits at specified intervals, or more, failing to follow those orders could put your recovery – and your compensation – at risk. Following through with every treatment that is ordered ensures that, once again, your claims are legitimate.
Furthermore, it will be on record that you sought, and followed through with, a doctor’s orders to treat your injury. However, if you want to go a step forward to guarantee your bases are covered, ask for hard copies of receipts and appointment dates any time you refill a prescription or attend a physical therapy session or appointment and keep them in a safe place! That way, you will always be able to provide proof of your dedication to the treatment plan.
Do: keep a record of medical treatment, pain and suffering, missed work, and other relevant information
In addition to keeping records of your medical status, you’ll want to keep records of any other relevant information which supports your claims, such as any missed work, inability to secure income, instances of pain and suffering, and more. Again, the human resources department at your job will have their record of days you missed, but it is always a good idea to obtain your own copy, just in case.
Your physical and mental suffering, however, will not be on any record, so it is especially important that you remember to keep your own. Keep a journal or notepad with dates and times where your trauma was almost too much to bear. While other records might show that you refilled a prescription for pain medication or attended a 30-minute session with a physical therapist, they won’t show the days and nights where your injuries kept you from performing even the most mundane tasks, like sleeping, eating, or walking to and from the bathroom. It is up to you to prove that your pain, healing, and recovery are happening 24/7, not just at monthly doctor appointments or visits to the pharmacy.
Don’t: talk about your case on social media or upload any photos/videos that could jeopardize your claims
You should exercise extreme caution when posting to social media – or even allowing others to post about you – in the midst of your personal injury case. In fact, it would be better to avoid using it altogether, if possible. Anything you say or do could be used against you. It is possible that a picture or video of you could contradict your own testimony, show that you’re participating in activities that someone claiming to be injured shouldn’t be, or show your level of physical capability following your supposed injury. Any social media activity in which you are implicated could put your claim, and therefore your compensation, at risk.
Do: report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible, but speak with a lawyer in advance about what information to reveal
Reporting your accident to your insurance company requires a delicate balance of providing necessary details while also protecting your interests. In order to avoid sharing any information that could be detrimental to your case, it is in your best interest to consult with a skilled personal injury attorney first, so they can review your insurance policy and coach you on the way that you reveal pertinent information (such as the date, time, and location of the accident, the parties who were involved, witness testimony, and injuries and damages). Admitting fault, sharing your speculations or assumptions, or sharing unrelated personal information could put you in an unfavorable position. An attorney who has experience in going up against insurance companies and is seasoned in the strategies they often use to avoid making payouts will know exactly what you should and shouldn’t say.
Contact Ortega Law Group Today For Help Navigating A Personal Injury Claim
Need an aggressive force on your side to take on the insurance companies? We know money may be tight right now due to your medical bills or lack of income. That’s why our lead attorney, Isaac Ortega, is dedicated to providing clients the legal representation they deserve at a price they can afford. Call today to schedule your free consultation and learn more!