Today’s post covers more tips on what to do and what not do if you have a North Carolina personal injury claim. Some of these tips are common sense (e.g., call the police after your accident) and some of them may be the opposite of what you have heard about personal injury claims (e.g., do not immediately go to a chiropractor). If you have any questions about your personal injury claim, you can contact our Durham Personal Injury Lawyers or Greensboro Personal Injury Lawyers by filling out the Free Consultation form to the right, emailing us at email@example.com, or by calling us at 888-820-5885.
- Avoid apologizing for your accident, even when you think that you played a part in causing the accident. Whether you feel responsible for the accident or not, it is always advisable to ensure that every one is okay and to assist everyone in getting to a safe location and contacting the police. However, admitting any type of fault, or even apologizing for the accident, can be used as an admission of guilt by you (even if not in writing), and potentially cause a denial of your claim. Again, feel free to speak with all parties involved to ensure everyone is receiving the assistance they need (medical or otherwise). Outside of that, just exchange contact information and avoid unnecessary contact with other parties involved in the accident. If you are worried about the insurance company accepting liability on your case, our Durham Accident Attorneys or Greensboro Accident Attorneys are available to discuss your case with you and give you our opinion of who is liable for your accident.
- Call the Police immediately after any accident. You will need to prove what happened in your accident, and if the only people that are willing to discuss the accident are you and the other driver, then you will have an almost impossible time proving your version of the accident. If there are witnesses to the accident, get their name and contact information (but don’t let obtaining that information prevent you from calling the police – oftentimes witnesses seem to disappear and are nearly impossible to get a written statement from). The police officer will put together an accident report that will document all the details of the accident and also what each driver stated at the scene of the accident (often the at-fault driver will change his or her version of what happened after they leave the scene of the accident and have a chance to speak with friends/family/etc.). If you have any questions about how to document your accident, you can contact our Durham Injury Lawyers or Greensboro Injury Lawyers for some pointers on ways to properly document the facts of your accident.
- Never immediately go to a chiropractor. This is true even if you have back pain, and have previously been to a chiropractor. The insurance company, and sometimes the jury, prefers that you go to your primary care physician first to be assessed by a medical doctor and receive his or her assessment of your injuries. If you wish to see a chiropractor then ask your primary care physician for a referral to a chiropractor, and ask your doctor his or her thoughts on chiropractic treatment. The value of chiropractic treatment is a hotly debated issue among the general public. Some people love chiropractors and the treatment they have received from chiropractors, and other people think that chiropractic treatment is ineffective and a waste of money (citing (i) that chiropractic treatment can worsen certain spinal conditions due to the repeated adjusting of the back and neck and (ii) the volume of visits (often 4-5 times weekly) creates a huge number of unpaid medical bills). You can guess which side the insurance company typically lands on. You can not guess which side your jury members will be on, so to protect yourself make sure that you get a referral from your primary physician to a chiropractor so that you can show the adjuster/jury member that you were just following the advice of your doctor If you are looking for a referral to a primary care physician, contact our Durham Injury Attorneys or Greensboro Injury Attorneys and we will get you a referral in your area.
- Write down your daily activities and experiences in a journal. You can write about your doctor visits, physical therapy visits, and also the difficulties your injury is causing you in your day to day activities. Having a real time record of your pain, suffering, and other difficulties can be very powerful when presented to an insurance adjuster (and jury). Taking notes will provide a great record of the difficulties your injury caused you, and it will also works as a great resource to ensure that you are being compensated for all aspects of your injury (mileage to and from doctor visits and pharmacy visits, out of pocket expenses related to accident, etc.). If you have any questions relating to what should go into your daily journal, call our Durham Personal Injury Lawyers or Greensboro Personal Injury Lawyers and we can get you started.
- Obtain high resolution color photos of your injuries, and of the damages to your vehicle (and the accident scene if you have a camera with you at the scene or if your cell phone has a camera). If your injuries are visible, take photos immediately, and also take photos daily to show the evolution of your injury. Get photos from many different angles, and in different lighting. If you are skilled at using a video camera, take video of your injuries and of the damages to your vehicle (as well as difficulties you are having due to your injuries). The more evidence you can gather related to your injuries and property damage the better, as visual evidence is very compelling to the insurance company and the jury, and will help avoid any dispute as to your injuries and the type of damages you are entitled to. If you do not have access to a camera or video camera, talk to your Durham Personal Injury Attorney or Greensboro Personal Injury Attorney and he or she will be able to help you obtain these photos.