Step #1: Don't wait to see a doctor. Many injuries are apparent immediately after an accident. However, some injuries present themselves much later. These injuries can be very serious - including herniated discs, hairline fractures, and even brain injuries. Unfortunately, waiting and hoping it will get better can hurt your body and your legal claim. In fact, waiting more than 14 days after an accident to seek medical care can cause you to lose benefits under your own Personal Injury Protection ("PIP") insurance. Get checked out by a doctor right away!
Step #2: See a specialist (when/if referred). There are so many different types of doctors it can be difficult to figure out who handles what type of injury. Most importantly, choose a doctor based on reputation. Ask your primary physician for a referral to a doctor that is familiar with your type of injuries. If you don't have a primary physician or can't get a referral, call us for a referral right away. In any event, remember that you should not wait too long (see above). And, remember to strictly follow your doctor's advice.
Step #3: Contact an attorney. Call to schedule a free consultation.
If we determine that you may have a claim, we will launch an immediate investigation and develop a case plan. Investigations can include reviewing traffic camera information, vehicle event data recorder information (a/k/a "Black Box"), cell phone records, law enforcement traffic crash reports, and computerized accident reconstruction. This step is critical and must be handled properly as it sets the stage for the rest of your injury claim.
Step #4: Start a Journal. Starting a journal is an often overlooked step in the injury claim process. We will help you get started with a journal to keep track of your doctors appointments, medications, and lost wages due to work absences. In fact, we give you a monthly calendar to remind you to keep track of everything as you go along. Keeping good records will help your claim process go more smoothly.
Step #5: Repair your vehicle. We help you with your property damage claim and even negotiate the repairs needed to your vehicle.
Step #6: Expect the unexpected from insurance companies. Sometimes they show up at the accident scene to ask questions. Sometimes they hire investigators to follow you around (and even take pictures of you) to verify your injuries and/or to make sure you are following your doctor's advice. And, sometimes they grossly underestimate your injuries in the hopes that you will agree to a quick "cheap" settlement. These are just a few of the many tactics we have seen insurance companies use to avoid paying claims.
Step #7: Get well by taking good care of yourself. By following your doctor's advice and caring for yourself properly many people reach a point of much reduced pain. However, sometimes the damage is too great and surgery is the only option. In these cases, medical advances have helped even the most seriously injured live a relatively normal life.
"Expect the unexpected from insurance companies. Sometimes they show up at the accident scene to ask questions. Sometimes they hire investigators to follow you around (and even take pictures of you)"
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