Facing the aftermath of an accident or injury is never easy. Whether it’s the result of a car crash, a workplace injury, or dealing with an injury from a defective product, these incidents can leave you reeling.
When it’s due to someone else’s oversight or negligence, it’s natural to consider seeking compensation for your pain, lost time from work, and medical expenses by filing a personal injury claim.
But what do you need to know about filing a successful claim? In this blog post, an experienced Spokane personal injury lawyer from Albrecht Law shares five tips to follow to strengthen your claim.
Tip 1: Seek Immediate Medical Attention
After an accident or incident, the adrenaline rush and immediate shock can sometimes mask the true extent of your injuries.
While you might feel okay or believe that your injuries are minor, it’s imperative not to self-diagnose. Here’s why seeking immediate medical treatment is paramount:
A healthcare professional can spot issues you might overlook. Sometimes, what seems minor can escalate if left untreated.
A medical report serves as an official record of the injuries you’ve sustained. This documentation is crucial for your claim as it directly links your injuries to the accident.
Some injuries, especially internal ones or those related to trauma, may not manifest symptoms immediately. Regular check-ups ensure that any delayed symptoms are caught early and treated.
Medication and Recommendations
Beyond treatment, a doctor will provide necessary medications and might recommend physical therapy or other rehabilitative measures, providing a clear record of your recovery journey.
From a legal standpoint, seeking immediate medical treatment showcases the seriousness of the incident and your proactive approach to your well-being. It’s harder for opposing parties to downplay your injuries when you’ve consistently sought medical attention.
In essence, prioritizing your health not only aids your recovery but also solidifies the foundation of your personal injury claim.
Tip 2: Document Everything
The more concrete evidence you have, the stronger your claim. After an incident, memories can blur, and details might be forgotten. That’s why it’s vital to document everything related to the incident. Here’s a checklist to guide you:
- Photographs: Capture multiple angles of the accident scene, any visible injuries, property damage, and anything else that might seem relevant.
- Witness Details: Obtain names, contact information, and even brief statements from anyone who witnessed the incident.
- Accident Details: As soon as you can, write down the specifics of the accident. This includes date, time, location, weather conditions, and any other particulars of the environment or circumstances.
- Medical Reports: Keep a detailed record of all medical visits, treatments, medications, and expert recommendations. These not only support your claim but also track your recovery journey.
- Expenses: Document all related expenses, be it medical bills, repair costs, or any other financial setbacks because of the incident.
- Official Reports: If the police or any other authority were involved, ensure you have a copy of their official report.
This thorough documentation doesn’t just fortify your claim; it ensures you’re prepared and confident when recounting the incident, be it during legal consultations or official proceedings.
Tip 3: Do Not Speak to Insurance Adjusters
The phone rings, you pick up, and there’s an insurance adjuster on the other end, sounding friendly and concerned. While their tone might seem genuine, remember their ultimate goal: saving their company money, often at your expense.
Here’s what you need to keep in mind:
- Adjusters Aren’t Your Friends: Even if they sound sympathetic, adjusters are trained to extract specific information that can be used to lower your settlement.
- The Tricky Questions: They’re masters of the art of phrasing. A seemingly innocent question might be designed to make you inadvertently admit fault or downplay your injuries.
- Your Best Response: If an adjuster reaches out, keep it simple. Let them know you’re represented by an attorney and direct all queries their way. Your lawyer has the experience and knowledge to engage without jeopardizing your case.
Remember, it’s not about being rude or dismissive. It’s about safeguarding your rights and ensuring you get the compensation you are entitled to.
Tip 4: Keep a Low Profile on Social Media
Think before you post! In our digital age, sharing moments, feelings, and daily updates on social media is second nature to many.
But when you’re in the midst of a personal injury claim, your online activity can become an unexpected pitfall. Here’s what you should know:
Eagle-Eyed Insurance Companies
Remember, insurance companies aren’t just passive players. They’re actively searching for ways to refute or reduce your claim. Your posts can be twisted, misconstrued, or taken out of context to challenge the legitimacy of your injuries.
Photos, Check-ins, and Updates
Sharing a picture from a recent outing or checking in at a local cafe? Even if it seems harmless, this could be used against you, implying you’re not as injured as you claim.
Comments about feeling good or having a great day, though innocent, can be weaponized to argue against emotional trauma or stress related to the incident.
Privacy Settings Aren’t Foolproof
Nothing online is truly private, even if you’ve adjusted your privacy settings. A shared post from a friend or a tagged photo can still make its way to the eyes of the opposing party.
The key takeaway? Stay savvy and think twice before hitting “post.” Your online presence can have real-world repercussions on your claim.
Tip 5: Hire an Attorney
Partnering with an experienced Spokane personal injury attorney can be the decisive factor in the success of your claim. Here’s the value they bring:
- Case Assessment: Free consultation to determine your claim’s viability and potential value.
- Evidence Collection: Gathering crucial documents, witness testimonies, and medical records to solidify your case.
- Legal Strategy Development: Crafting a tailored approach to ensure the highest chances of a successful outcome.
- Navigating Legal Procedures: Ensuring all filings, documentation, and court proceedings are handled timely and accurately.
- Direct Communication: Engaging with insurance representatives, opposing counsel, and other relevant parties on your behalf.
- Negotiation Skills: Expertly handling settlement discussions to advocate for your best interests and rightful compensation.
- Trial Preparation & Representation: Ready to take your case to court if necessary and present a compelling case on your behalf.
- Understanding of Legal Rights: Keeping you informed and protected against any potential pitfalls or oversights.
Remember, having a Spokane injury attorney by your side means leveraging their knowledge, experience, and dedication to fight for the justice and compensation you are entitled to.
We know that filing a personal injury claim can be overwhelming and complex, but if you follow the above tips, you’ll have a much better chance for a favorable outcome.
Contact Albrecht Law in Spokane Valley, Washington
You’ve got questions. We’ve got answers.
Whether you’ve been the victim of a work injury or injured in a car accident, our dedicated legal team is here for you. Get in touch with a Washington personal injury attorney that can help.
We’ll answer your questions even if we don’t take your case. And if we take your case, we work on a contingency basis. If we don’t win, we don’t charge you a penny.
We serve clients throughout Eastern Washington, including Grant County, Adams County, and Spokane County. Our Spokane and Moses Lake offices allow convenient access throughout Central and Eastern Washington.
Copyright © 2023. Albrecht Law PLLC. All rights reserved.
The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country, or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.
Albrecht Law PLLC
5105 E 3rd Ave, Suite 101
Spokane Valley, WA 99212