If you’ve sustained an injury due to the negligence of others, you’ve likely experienced pain, compromised function, loss of revenue (due to missed work), and the financial strains of mounting medical bills. Your life has been thrown into commotion through no fault of your own.
You need to heal—both physically and financially—and a good accident injury attorney can help you accomplish this. However, you may be hesitant to reach out. You may wonder if your case is strong enough and if you will recover enough compensation to make the legal journey worth it.
This tool can help you understand if you have a case, and if you do, our Las Vegas accident attorneys will do all in their power to help you win that case. But there are things you can do as well.
Based on our 50 years of fighting for accident injury victims in Las Vegas, we’ve compiled a list of eight things you can do to help ensure that you get maximum compensation for your personal injury claim.
1. Seek medical help
It’s critical that you get medical help after your accident for a couple of reasons. First, your doctor will help you heal faster and to the fullest extent. He or she may be able to catch and treat accident-related health issues before they have a chance to turn into something worse.
Second, this sets up the all-important foundation for your legal case. Insurance companies will not give you money for saying you are injured. They require proof, and that proof must come from a medical professional establishing that your health problems occurred as a result of your accident.
Many people worry that if they seek medical treatment, all of their settlement money will go to the doctors who treated them. This is not true. In fact, without that treatment, there may be no settlement at all, as medical treatment is the basis for calculating your compensation. The value of your case is relative to the cost of the medical treatment required to recover from the documented injuries, and your doctor is the one who can provide that documentation.
2. Comply with your doctor’s orders
Consider these three examples of people involved in identical car accidents with identical legal representation.
- Patient A does minimal treatment. He doesn’t want to go to his medical appointments and takes no initiative to get the proper care for his injuries.
- Patient B starts off with full compliance. She goes to most of her treatments and is usually on time. However, sometimes, she just isn’t in the mood for a medical appointment or finds them inconvenient so she reschedules or cancels her appointments. Over time, she gets tired of treatment and decides to stop going altogether.
- Patient C follows all of his doctor’s recommendations, communicates well with his doctor, and attends all appointments on time.
Patient A’s case is worth very little. Why? Because he has had virtually no treatment, and insurance companies determine their pay-out amount based on the cost to treat an accident-related injury.
Patient B will likely receive more compensation than patient A, but she has damaged her case by failing to get consistent, complete treatment.
On the other hand, patient C has set himself up to receive the maximum compensation possible. Full treatment equals full value!
Attend all of your medical appointments and be on time. If your doctor recommends other tests or therapies, schedule them promptly and follow through with the full range of testing and treatment.
Even if treatment is inconvenient or you don’t see the point in it, trust your medical experts to guide you through. It’s not just good for your health, it’s essential for building an airtight legal case.
3. Communicate consistently with your medical providers
Be honest and thorough when explaining where things hurt and how bad they hurt. Being a tough guy (or gal) gets you nowhere. The more information you can share with your doctor, the more of a foundation there will be for your legal case.
4. Stay off of social media
It is not uncommon for insurance companies to hire specialists to search accident victims’ social media accounts for messages that hurt their case.
Imagine that you sustained a leg injury at work but then posted a picture of yourself on the basketball court with friends. Even if you weren’t playing ball, your post gives the impression that you were, and that can damage your case.
And it’s not just your posts that can hurt you. Your comments on others’ posts can hurt as well. “Nice game, but my jump shot was legendary!” could have the same effect as an incriminating photo. Even liking an organization or movement that could have undertones that undermine your case or cast you in a negative light could hurt you. The best policy is to avoid social media until your injury accident case resolves.
5. Avoid direct communication with the opposing party’s insurance company
Insurance companies may sound nice and sympathetic on the phone, but they may try to prime you for details that could sabotage your case. You should avoid talking to their representatives and leave this to an experienced attorney…which brings us to our next tip.
6. Trust the legal experts
A good accident lawyer will know all of the ins and outs of personal injury law and understand how to leverage it in your favor. An insurance company may try to suggest that you had more fault in the accident than their client, but an attorney can push back against this. Even in cases where you were partially at fault, your attorney can construct a case to maximize your award and shut down the intimidating tactics of Big Insurance.
Some people are hesitant to hire an attorney because they are afraid of the cost, but many accident injury attorneys have contingency payment agreements–meaning you don’t pay unless your attorney secures a monetary recovery in your case.
7. Don’t be swayed by lowball offers
The opposing party’s insurance company may try to pressure you to accept a quick settlement, and if your injury has drained your bank account, you may be tempted by the allure of quick cash. But do not jump at these lowball offers—they are often pennies on the dollar compared to what you could be earning.
These offers may fail to take into account future limitations that may arise from your injuries and the cost of ongoing treatment. What if your injuries require future surgeries or long-term hospitalization and rehabilitation? What if your injuries leave you partially or fully unable to work?
Once you accept a settlement offer, you are relinquishing your right to ask for more. A skilled attorney can help you know whether or not an offer is reasonable to cover present and future costs related to your accident injuries.
8. Don’t let insurance companies overstate your pre-existing conditions
A favorite tactic of insurance companies is to pass your injuries off as pre-existing conditions. They may say that your back pain is due to the slipped disc from 20 years ago, not from the slip and fall injury you just sustained. But you know this is not the case.
Pre-existing conditions need not be a deal breaker. A good lawyer will have a firm grasp of the laws related to pre-existing conditions and can call an insurance company’s bluff. In the five decades our law firm has been in business, we have helped thousands of people get compensation for their injuries, many of whom had pre-existing conditions.
If you can follow these eight tips, you’ll be setting yourself up for success with your personal injury case, and our Las Vegas accident injury attorneys can take it from there. We’ll also help you recover property damages–something few other personal injury firms will do. This could include a car, tree, home fence, or anything else. Whatever the damaged property, we will help you recover the value.
We are family-owned and operated, and we treat you like family, fighting tirelessly on your behalf. Whether you are looking for a Las Vegas car wreck lawyer or any other type of accident or injury lawyer, the Tingey Injury Law Firm team stands ready to help with all your accident injuries. Click here to schedule a free consultation.