10 Ways that You Can Increase the Value of Your Personal Injury Case
Written by Holly Ortiz, Trial Attorney for the Pendleton Law Team
If you have been involved in a car accident and have hired an attorney to handle your personal injury case, you may think that nothing that you do, from that point forward, will have an impact on the outcome of your case. Not true! Below are ten rules to follow to help maximize the value of your case.
1. Don’t Wait to Seek Treatment for Your Injuries.
If you are injured, you need to seek treatment as soon as possible. When you wait weeks or months to see a doctor, it makes it more difficult to explain to an insurance adjuster, judge or jury that your injuries are related to the accident.
2. Always Follow the Recommendations of Your Doctors.
If a doctor refers you to physical therapy or tells you to follow up with a specialist, follow those instructions! If you don’t follow those recommendations and then show up at the ER weeks later because you are still in pain, it’s going to be hard to make the argument that you did everything you could do to deal with your injuries and help the healing process.
3. Always Ask Providers to Bill to Your Health Insurance.
You have health insurance for a reason. It saves you money when you get sick or hurt! In a personal injury case, not insisting that medical providers bill to your health insurance for all treatment will have a huge impact on your bottom line. Bill health insurance for all treatment!
4. Don’t Combine Your Medical Treatment.
“Combining medical treatment” means going to the ER, primary care doctor or a specialist for an appointment that is related to the accident and then asking the doctor to address something that is unrelated to the accident while you are there. While you are recovering from injuries, you may get sick or have another health issue that arises. Don’t address these other issues at an appointment for injury related treatment. It is one more way that car insurance companies try to argue against paying for treatment.
5. Don’t Post on Social Media About… Sky – Diving, Break Dancing, Horseback Riding, Ice Skating, Running a Marathon, etc., etc., etc.
This one should be obvious but, if you are recovering from injury, you shouldn’t be engaging in activities that can cause re-injury or aggravate your symptoms. If you post about those activities in a public forum, you can be assured that the value of your case will decrease.
6. Don’t Discuss Your Injuries With Insurance Adjusters.
Liability adjusters can call you to discuss your car damage but once you have hired a lawyer, they should not be asking about your injuries. If they ask, tell them that they can speak to your attorney!
7. Always be Honest About Pre-Existing Conditions and Prior Car Accidents.
If you don’t tell your attorney about existing health issues and prior car accidents that you have been involved in, they may find out for the first time from an insurance adjuster or a defense attorney. If your attorney is blind-sided by this information, he/she won’t be adequately prepared to fight for your case.
8. Tell Your Attorney About Any Prior Felony or Misdemeanor Convictions.
You may wonder what this information has to do with your personal injury case but, if you have prior convictions, you may be questioned about them during a trial. Your attorney needs to know prior to trial so they can be prepared to address it in court.
9. Take Lots of Pictures and Keep Notes About Your Experience.
It helps your attorney to argue for a bigger settlement when they have lots of information about how this accident has impacted your life. Photos of the car damage, your injuries and your healing process are all very helpful to paint an accurate picture for insurance adjusters, judges and juries. This same concept is true for keeping a written “journal” of the impact that your injuries are having on your day to day life.
(10) Always be Honest… About Everything!
Don’t exaggerate the accident, your symptoms or your injuries. Don’t downplay the impact to your life if it has caused you inconvenience, pain and suffering. If you aren’t honest about one aspect of your case, it will call into question EVERY OTHER aspect of your case. Insurance adjusters won’t believe you. judges and juries won’t trust your testimony. If you feel better, say that you feel better. If you continue to have pain, don’t be afraid to admit that you are still struggling. Being genuine and authentic helps people to relate to what you’ve been through and be more accurate in the value that they assign to your case.
Contact a Virginia Personal Injury Lawyer
Contact the attorneys at Christina Pendleton & Associates at 804-250-5050. We will handle your claim for damages from day one, and will allow you to focus on what is important: your recovery. Insurance companies will often begin hounding the injured victims after an accident occurs, and our team will ensure that you are left alone during this time. We will carefully examine the facts of the accident and ensure that a claim is timely filed for damages. You are the victim in this situation and should not be responsible for the resulting injuries – whether they be financial or emotional. Contact us today by calling 804-250-5050.