HomeLaw Firm ArticlesIF I AM NOT SURE I WANT TO HIRE AN ATTORNEY RIGHT NOW, WHAT SHOULD I DO TO PROTECT MY RIGHTS?
Retain copies of all medical bills, as they document part of your damages.
If your can, photograph the accident scene, especially any physical evidence (skid marks, debris etc.) that can still be seen at the accident scene.
If you lose work because of your injuries (or treatment for your injuries) you should obtain a note from your doctor or you may not be able to claim these damages. Eventually you will need documentation from your employer to substantiate the total amount of your lost earnings. If you are self-employed, proving loss of income can be very complicated and you should discuss this with an attorney.
Contact your own insurance agent and make sure you know what your insurance does and does not cover.
If your injury has resulted in bruises, cuts or surgery then document this with a camera.
Keep your doctor appointments and make sure you obtain all of the necessary medical care that your physician recommends. This not only will help you in recovering as soon as possible, it also documents that you are still having problems and that you are doing your best to get better. The insurance company will claim that missed appointments, treatment delays and failure to obtain treatment are evidence that you were not injured or that your injuries are not serious. Be aware that the insurance company may hire an investigator to follow and photograph you.
Keep track of your mileage to and from any pharmacy or medical provider– these are part of your damages.
Beware of signing unlimited medical authorizations for the other party’s insurance company– this will give that company access to all of your medical records, regardless of whether they are related to your injuries.
Beware of giving a recorded statement. Any statements you make can be used at trial.
Beware of where you go for treatment. As in every profession, there are good doctors and bad doctors. Some are “insurance” doctors that will claim a paraplegic can dance. Others may run up large bills that might make your claim difficult to settle.
As a general rule, never consider settling your case if you are still being treated or having medical problems. Once a release is signed you can’t come back and claim additional damages, even if you did not realize the full extent of your injuries at the time you settled.
Last, if you are not presently hiring an attorney, at least speak with one to make sure you are aware of any time limitations that may apply to your case.
"I believe that if the dominant themes of a law firm are the vigorous pursuit of the best interests of the clients, dedication to excellence, a strict sense of ethics, and the development of a great working atmosphere, success takes care of itself."