1. Be patient
While you may be tempted to call and check on the progress of your injury case in while you are recovering, it is best to just be patient and focus on your own healing. Your lawyer is handling the tracking of your medical bills, correspondence with the insurance company, and preparing for your final case. Remember that no amount can be awarded for your case until you are fully recovered. Your attorney will not know the cost of getting you better until you are better. Rushing your case can result in a settlement that is less than what you deserve for your pain and injuries.
2. Keep a journal
As your case progresses, it will be very important for your attorney to be able to present you to the insurance company as a relatable human being. It will be helpful to represent your hobbies, interests, and priorities in your real life, to show you as a well-rounded individual, and not just a claim number on a file. One way to do this very effectively is by keeping a journal. While you are injured, keep a journal of events in your life, specifically events you might miss due to your injury or the resulting pain. Even if you record very little, perhaps just once a week, take a few moments to write down a few notes of any special events, work, or social occasions that you may have been unable to attend. Also keep a record of your pain levels, and any activities that increase your discomfort. Write down what times of day your pain or injury feels worse. Also record any appointments or treatments that you attend, and how they make you feel. These details will add up to a fair representation of the general damages of your case, or the effects that are observed behind the scenes on a personal level. These journal entries, in addition to personal photos of you, can help with creating a more personal human element when negotiating your case.
3. Don’t post on social media
Many clients may be surprised to learn that posting certain things on social media can really be detrimental to their case. Some posts are helpful to showing you have a real life and relationships, just as keeping a journal can be. But some posts can unwittingly cause a lot of harm to your credibility. For example, a client that is injured in a car crash might be receiving chiropractic and physical therapy treatments. If she is beginning to feel a bit better, she will try to live her life as normal as possible. Imagine this client goes to the gym one night for a yoga class and posts a photo of that on social media. The insurance company could find that photo when researching the client and then determine or assume that any pain or injury existing after that photo at the gym was caused by the yoga class, and not the car crash. The insurance company could argue that injured people don’t go to the gym, and that the client is unreasonable or dishonest in their representation of their injuries. This could result in refusal to pay any medical bills after the photo was posted. For these reasons, be mindful of what you post to social media after you hire your attorney. Also, consider setting your account settings to private as an added wise measure of safety.
4. Follow your doctor’s orders
One of the most important things you can do while your attorney handles your case is simple but can make or break your case in the long run. It is very important to follow your doctor’s instructions very carefully. By following all instructions that the doctor gives you for treatment and testing, you will show that are cooperating with the process and you are making it a priority to get well as quickly as possible. If your doctor orders imaging or another test, and you don’t follow through with having it done, you will appear negligent to your case. You want to keep a great relationship with your doctor and show that you are cooperating, as it will be reflected in your medical records that the insurance company sees later.
A very big part of maintaining the positive relationship with your doctor is to keep all of your appointments. If you are missing appointments, you are showing your doctor a lack of respect for his busy schedule. Too many missed appointments can lead to your doctor dropping you as a patient, which will leave you at square one and having to find a new doctor. Your doctor is an integral piece to a successful personal injury case outcome for you.
5. Mitigate your losses
Mitigating your losses means managing your treatments and habits leading to recovery in the most reasonable way. You want to make decisions about work, activity, bills, and even just daily life in a way that would make sense to a reasonable adult. The insurance company wants to see that you are taking care of yourself and making good choices that don’t prolong your injury or incur more costs. If you are concerned about deciding whether to work with your injury, just follow your doctor’s instructions about work and activity limitations. Being cautious with your health and follow the doctor’s orders will show you are doing your best to mitigate your losses. These things will show that you are credible and honest. You can be trusted to be responsible with getting better as quickly and safely as possible.
These are the five best things you can do to have a productive outcome of your personal injury case. While your attorney takes care of the preparation and legwork up front, you can do these helpful things to lead to a favorable result once you recover from your injuries.