If you have suffered a serious personal injury, you may be wondering what you need to do next to ensure that you receive the full amount of compensation you deserve. Whether you have been in a motor vehicle accident or have suffered an injury on someone else’s premises, it is important that you follow these important steps to avoid some of the common T.R.A.P.S. that can delay or impair your ability to bring a successful personal injury case.
T – Treatment
While it may seem obvious, the most important thing you should do is to seek immediate medical treatment. Whether you go to an emergency room, a local urgent care, or your primary care physician, getting immediate medical treatment is vital to a successful personal injury claim. This immediate medical treatment demonstrates a “causal relationship” between the incident which caused the injury and the injuries you will claim as a result of the accident.
R – Report
As with any lawsuit or legal action, it is important to obtain or create documents which support your claim. In a car crash, make sure that the police are called and that a Police Accident Report is created for the auto accident. If you are injured in a store, ask for a manager to help you complete an incident report. If you are injured on a rental property, send an email to your landlord and ask for a response. See if you can get contact information from any witnesses and ask if they would agree to give a witness statement about what happened. Asking for and creating this paper trial will make sure that the responsible parties have “written notice” of the incident and will improve the likelihood of success of your injury claim.
A – Ask
It is a great idea to ask for advice as soon as possible after the accident. Nearly all personal injury matters are handled on a “contingency fee” basis and a personal injury attorney will nearly always provide you a “free consultation.” When a personal injury matter is handled on a “contingency fee,” there are no out-of-pocket expenses to hire a qualified personal injury attorney to represent you. A personal injury attorney will only get paid when you win.
P – Plan
Depending on your specific injuries, your doctors will help you determine the appropriate treatment plan to achieve your maximum rehabilitation. This may involve physical therapy, chiropractic care, orthopedic care, diagnostic testing (MRIs and Xrays), pain management, and under certain circumstances, surgical intervention. Your doctors can provide referrals to experts in the appropriate medical fields. It is important to keep track of all the medical providers that you consult for your injuries as the records from these treatment facilities will be needed to resolve your personal injury case.
S – Schedule
Finally, it is imperative that you stick to the recommended treatment schedule provided by your doctors for two reasons.
First, following the treatment schedule is the fastest way for you to achieve your maximum rehabilitation from your injuries.
Second, keeping a consistent treatment schedule may be used as further evidence of the severity of your injuries. There is often the temptation to put treatment on the back burner once you have started to feel better. This is a pitfall that should be avoided. You should continue with your treatment at the rate prescribed by your physicians. An experienced defense attorney will always check whether you have been following the treatment recommendations of your doctors when considering the nature and severity of your injuries. If you are not following the treatment recommendations of your doctors, the implication is that your injuries are not severe and that you should not be entitled to the full amount of compensation that you deserve.
CALL TODAY FOR A FREE CONSULTATION
If you follow these tips to avoid the common personal injury T.R.A.P.S., you will be well on your way to establishing a successful personal injury claim.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule a free consultation, please feel free to call J&G at (845) 764-9656 and ask for me, Andrew L. Boughrum, an experienced personal injury attorney serving New York State and the Hudson Valley for more than a decade.
This is not intended to be legal advise. You should contact your attorney to discuss your specific situation.