Submitted by: L. Michael Bly, Esq., Chair Personal Injury Team
At Pickrel, Schaeffer & Ebeling, we have experienced litigators who can assist you following a personal injury accident, whether you are the injured party or caused the injuries. In the instances where you are the injured party, these five steps are critical to preserve your rights and maximize your outcome:
- Take care of yourself.
Following the accident, if you feel pain symptoms, get medical attention as soon as possible. If symptoms don’t arise until later, get medical attention right away. Consistency in documenting your injuries, treatment, and recovery is vital in presenting an effective claim. Even if you haven’t seen him or her, make sure that your family physician is informed of your involvement in the accident and make sure the providers with whom you are treating do so as well.
- Seek legal counsel sooner rather than later.
There are services personal injury firms subscribe to that monitor police reports and actively pursue accident victims through brochures, videos, and other types of solicitations. While it is important to seek legal representation sooner than later, do not do so without fully investigating your potential attorney. Word-of-mouth recommendations from a trusted source have, in our experience, produced the best results. While you may believe in your ability to represent yourself, unless you have the knowledge and training to deal with the insurance company representing the at-fault party, more likely than not, you will not be satisfied with the results.
- Let your attorney do the talking for you.
Never speak directly with the insurance company representative. That is your attorney’s job. If the insurance company contacts you, expect that everything you say could be recorded. The insurance company representative will want a recorded statement and other information from you concerning the cause of the accident, the nature and extent of your injuries, your treatment, bills, and your past medical history. Allow your attorney to guide you through this process, and do not do it alone.
- Avoid social media.
Resist the urge to post photos of your damaged vehicle or your injuries on any social media platform. Once you publish information concerning your accident on the internet, it is very difficult to remove once posted. While you may feel fine following the collision and want to share that with your friends, if your injuries are more involved than you initially thought, having to explain away a potentially damaging social media post could harm your claim.
- Keep the lines of communication open.
Of course, a good personal injury attorney will always be willing to talk with you personally about your claim. However, if you keep the lines of communication open and regularly update your attorney as you progress toward recovery, it will help clarify your claim and maximize your results.
If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of having been injured in an accident due to the fault of another, the attorneys at Pickrel, Schaeffer & Ebeling are here to help. Contact us at www.pselaw.com or 937.223.1130 and ask to speak with Michael Bly, Chair of the firm’s Personal Injury team.