What can I do to maximize my recovery?
Experience has shown that the people that the take the following steps following an accident can maximize their recovery:
Report the incident. It is important that you immediately contact emergency services and request an officer to make a police report, or request someone with authority to make a written report. Written reports are essential in the expeditious handling of your claim. Reports should not only document the parties involved in the incident, but will usually also contain the contact information of any witnesses. If you think you might be injured, report your potential injuries to the person taking the report so that he or she may note it in the report.
Take photographs of the scene. It is important to document the scene of the incident. Photographs can be important in determining liability and showing the circumstances of the incident. If the incident involved automobiles, be sure to take pictures before the vehicles are moved. Take pictures of the damage to all vehicles involved, their position in the roadway, traffic signals and signs and other road conditions.
Request medical attention at the scene, if necessary. While you are speaking with emergency dispatch or any person of authority, if you believe that you or someone else involved in the incident could possibly be injured, it is best to be precautious and request emergency personnel to come and check you out.
Consider getting checked out at the ER or a primary care facility the day of the incident. Once you leave the incident scene, if you believe that you have been injured in any way, follow up with a visit to the emergency room or another primary care facility. This serves two purposes: to get immediate treatment for your injuries you may have sustained and also to document your complaints of pain. When you are describing your injuries to your doctor, make sure you give you doctor a complete history of how the incident happened and report each and every injury that you are suffering from.
Do not minimize your injuries. You must assume that everything you tell the doctor will be in medical records, which will be reviewed by the insurance company when you make your claim. Provide the doctor or nurse with a complete, truthful and accurate description of your conditions and complaints. Medical records can often be the strongest or weakest part of your case.
Follow up with your family doctor or primary care physician. Upon discharge from the emergency room, you will normally be given instructions to follow up with your primary care physician as needed. Often times injuries, especially soft tissue injuries, do not manifest until a day or two after the incident. Many clients have stated that they go to bed feeling ok only to wake up the next morning with severe pain and stiffness. If you find yourself in this situation, go to the emergency room or schedule an appointment with your family doctor immediately.
Take photographs or videos of your injuries. Photographs and video can be powerful evidence to demonstrate the extent of your injuries. They are also helpful devices to keep track of the progress of your treatments. Be sure to timestamp or date all photos or videos taken.
Ask about physical therapy. For soft tissue injuries, ask your doctor about the possibility of recommending physical therapy and/or chiropractic treatment. You are entitled to compensation for reasonable and necessary medical expenses. Rest and painkillers may not be enough to get you as close as you can back to your condition prior to the accident. Often times, physical therapy and/or chiropractic treatment will prevent flare ups from occurring in the future.
Document your lost wages. If you are unable to work, keep track of days that you missed by writing down the dates on a calendar or keeping notes in your phone. Keep check stubs, schedules and any other paperwork that will document your lost income. If you don’t feel you can work, make sure that you have something in writing from your doctor verifying your condition keeps you from being able to work.
Consult with an attorney. A good personal injury attorney will have experience in navigating you through the claims process and filing a lawsuit if necessary. The attorneys of POYNTER & BUCHERI, LLC have made thousands of insurance claims against insurance companies and have vast experience in knowing how to maximize your claim. Call the attorneys at POYNTER & BUCHERI, LLC today! Let us tell you what we can do for you!