Once a personal injury case gets underway following an accident, you could have a substantial waiting period ahead of you before you receive your settlement or award. During this time, there are important steps to take immediately after an auto accident to help yourself and your case.
If you are asserting that your accident and injury resulted from another party’s negligence, chances are high that the party’s insurance company will attempt to contact you multiple times. Often, the insurer will make settlement offers that are entirely too low because they do not sufficiently take into account all of your accident-related losses such as pain and suffering. Additionally, an insurance agent may try to get you to make a recorded statement of your version of events. While the agent may claim to only want to help you, the company can use any statements against you to limit the amount they offer to you. For this reason, you should never give a recorded statement without the counsel of an experienced personal injury attorney.
In addition to being careful of what you say to an adverse insurer, you should also document every time the insurance company tries to contact you, what they say, and the amount of any settlements they may offer. Such documentation may play an important role in your personal injury case.
While damages for medical bills and lost income are relatively simple to calculate and prove, proving an adequate amount of noneconomic damages (1) is significantly more complex. This is because noneconomic damages are for intangible losses that can be difficult to accurately measure, such as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and emotional distress. Keeping a journal of the nature and severity of your pain, how the pain is affecting your life, and your overall mood regarding your injuries can serve as extremely helpful evidence (2) of your noneconomic damages.
Your medical records will reflect the nature of your injuries at the time of your initial diagnosis following an accident. However, injuries can often change and different complications can arise while you wait for your personal injury case to be completed. It is important that you note all changes in your physical and mental condition and all necessary treatments that you must undergo as a result. If your condition worsens or changes, you should visit the emergency room or doctor so that they can prescribe any new treatment and can document the changes in your injuries in your medical records.
Even if your condition seems to be improving, you should always complete all courses of treatment advised by your doctor. If you quit treatment, it may be used against you as evidence that your injuries or pain levels were not as severe as you claimed. Additionally, if you prevail in your personal injury case, you will receive compensation for all of the costs of treatment, so you should never quit treatment due to financial concerns.
While you are waiting on your claim, you should listen to information from an injury attorney in Vegas and report any relevant information regarding a worsening injury or complications arising from your injuries. You should further report anytime the insurance company tries to contact you or whether law enforcement made any progress or conclusions in investigation of your accidents. Even if you do not believe certain information is important, your attorney may be able to use it to your advantage in settlement negotiations or in front of a jury to ensure you receive proper compensation in your case.