For most people, hiring a personal injury attorney is a foreign experience that hardly any new victim knows how to deal with. Generally speaking, there aren’t many people who: A) have to suffer an injury (or worse) due to someone else’s negligent behavior, or B) have to suffer it more than once in their lifetime.
With that said, if you are a new victim of a personal injury and are hiring an attorney to represent your case, there’s a good chance you have a lot of questions about what to do next. Here are a few things our team at The Law Firm of Cohen & Cohen might ask of you in preparation for taking on your case:
Contact your insurance company immediately.
After your incident, it’s important to notify your insurance company of the situation very quickly. In order for your case to be the most successful it can be, documentation of the incident is essential, as there may be certain rules and timelines that must be met in order to receive recoveries for later on.
Not accept an adjuster’s settlement offer right away.
It’s very likely that the defendant’s insurance company will be contacting you to offer a (seemingly high) settlement amount. However, it’s crucial that you refrain from accepting the offer right away, without having the time to consult with a lawyer and review all of the costs that might be associated with your injury, including physical, emotional and psychological damages. Remember: it’s the insurance company’s job to distribute the least amount of money possible, so the amount offered will probably be much less than what you’ll need to spend on the aftermath of this case down the road.
Keep all paperwork and documentation of the accident.
Whatever documents, witness statements, photos or other pieces of evidence that can be used to help your case should be kept and organized in a safe place. These documents will help boost your likelihood of gaining the recoveries you rightfully deserve, as the information can be traced back at any time to prove that deadlines were met, witnesses were spoken to, etc.
See a doctor immediately.
This is especially relevant for auto accident cases. Under the Personal Injury Protection law in Florida, automobile insurance carriers are required to cover up to 80% of medical bills (up to a max of $10,000) ONLY IF the plaintiff seeks medical treatment within 14 days and his/her injuries were determined to be an emergency medical condition. Essentially, there are certain laws that require you to seek medical attention within a very short amount of time or else you will not legally be eligible for those recoveries.
While these are just a few of the things that a personal injury attorney might ask from you at the start of your case, it’s important to remember that he/she will be there to answer any questions or address any concerns that may come up throughout the entire process. Your attorney will also be there to remind you of these deadlines and requirements so you can be best prepared for results in your favor.