At St Petersburg Personal Injury Attorneys McQuaid & Douglas, we handle a wide range of injuries that have been caused by someone else’s negligence. Whether your injuries have been caused by a car accident or truck accident, slip and fall, or some other accident, our Personal Injury Team is designed to help facilitate your physical recovery and build a rock-solid case to pursue monetary compensation for you. One of the key components to a successful personal injury claim actually falls to our clients and their persistence in pursuing their own physical recovery. Most of our clients have never found themselves injured by someone else’s negligence and navigating the process can at times, seem daunting. Therefore, we have put together the following 10 tips for a successful personal injury claim.
- Clients must attend their scheduled treatment appointments and follow your Doctor’s advice. This is particularly important immediately after an injury. If you are unable to make an appointment, be sure to follow up with the medical provider and reschedule the appointment. Insurance companies will use a lack of treatment or missed appointments against you! Additionally, the insurance company will portray a delay in treatment early in the claims process as a signal that the injury is not that severe and therefore, not as valuable.
- Immediately notify your lawyer when something important happens in your medical treatment (e.g. you have a MRI, you receive a surgical consultation, your doctor has recommended injections, you move forward with a recommended procedure, etc.). While our Personal Injury Team obtains all of your treatment records, it is important to keep your lawyer apprised of these important medical recommendations and procedures so we can move quickly to obtain those records which will help shape your case. Timely receiving your medical records will help facilitate a quicker claim and hopefully, a quicker settlement.
- Immediately notify your lawyer if you stop treating or have a gap in treatment for any reason. Sometimes following through with physical therapy, treatment recommendations, or doctor’s appointments is difficult and before you know it, you have created a gap in treatment. Not only should you follow tip #1, but you should also implement tip #3 to help your lawyer defuse any adverse consequences of a gap in treatment or treatment stoppage.
- Do not assume that your lawyer automatically receives your medical records and knows what your doctor recommended during your appointments. This tip relates back to tip #2. Sometimes it takes several weeks for your lawyer to receive your medical records, and by then, you may have missed the opportunity to follow your doctor’s advice. You do not want to miss a recommendation or opportunity for necessary medical treatment because your attorney knows you are treating with a particular provider. Take the initiative and keep your attorney in the loop!
- Be cautious about what you post on social media. You can expect that anything you post or are tagged in on social media will be discovered by the insurance company. There are companies that insurance companies use to mine social media accounts for any information that can be used against you. Therefore, try to avoid posting pictures of yourself engaged in physical activities (e.g. hiking, skiing, fishing, bicycling, riding ATVs, riding horses, riding motorcycles, going to amusement parks, going to concerts, doing yard work, walking the dog, going to the gym, moving large items, lifting weights, etc.). Do NOT discuss how you are feeling or the injuries related to your case on social media. You may want to consider restricting your settings to private or all together taking a hiatus from social media. Expect that anything you post on social media will be twisted to your detriment by the insurance company.
- If you have not heard from your lawyer in a month or more, contact your lawyer to provide an update and/or request an update. Constant communication with your lawyer is key to a successful personal injury claim.
- If your medical providers are making recommendations for your care and treatment which you have questions about, please contact your lawyer immediately. There are occasions where a medical procedure is recommended, such as epidural steroid injections, which you may not be familiar with. The decision to move forward with a medical procedure is always up to you, and educating yourself about the particular procedure is an important step to help you make that decision. Of course, your medical provider is the first person you should ask if you have questions; however, if you have questions about how a certain procedure will impact your case, contact your lawyer.
- Keeping your claim moving is another key to success; delay in your treatment does not help your case. The insurance company will attempt to argue that a delay in treatment shows that the injuries from which you suffer are not that serious because you have not had continuous problems that require continuous treatment. Remember that consistent medical treatment will not only help your claim, but it is designed to help recover from your injuries!
- Use our office as a resource during your injury claim. This is particularly important if you have not had a personal injury claim before or are not familiar with the process of developing a personal injury claim. The Personal Injury Team at St. Petersburg Personal Injury Attorneys McQuaid & Douglas is ready to help you throughout your claim. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to pick up the phone.
- Finally, as is evident in the preceding 9 tips, COMMUNICATION WITH OUR OFFICE IS THE KEY TO YOUR SUCCESSFUL CLAIM!
While there are many more tips that help facilitate a successful personal injury claim, the above list contains the ones that most often come up and can directly impact the value of your personal injury claim.
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If anyone you know has been a victim of someone else’s negligence such as a car accident, truck accident, or slip and fall, let the legal team at St Petersburg Personal Injury Attorneys McQuaid & Douglas put their knowledge, experience, and reputation to work for you on your personal injury claim. Contact St. Petersburg Personal Injury Attorneys McQuaid & Douglas for a free consultation.