Things Which You Should NOT DO:
Do not speak with the insurance company regarding your matter until you have spoken with our firm first. There are many things that you could say which will adversely affect your case. We will usually let you discuss the property portion of your case with the insurance company, but only after we have given the insurance company a Letter of Representation. This letter will specify that the insurance company cannot talk to you about anything other than the property. (no questions as to injuries and no questions as to how the accident happened)
Never sign anything without talking to our firm first.
Do not get on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, MySpace, or any other social media and post pictures or discuss ANY element of your accident.
Do not discuss your case with anyone other than your attorney or doctor. Sharing with friends or family, or posting anything about your accident on social media, such as Facebook or Twitter may adversely affect your case.
Things for you to REMEMBER:
Call Us as soon as practically possible after your accident.
See a doctor and and inform him/her of ALL injuries you sustained. Make sure to follow your doctor’s advice and keep all appointments.
Take photos of any property damage or injuries.
Collect damage estimates.
Save all bills, records, prescription bottles, and any other medical items. Notify us immediately if you plan on seeing a new medical provider.
Employment – Keep track of missed time/days from work. If you take Paid vacation, keep track of that too, as it is reimbursable.
Receipts: Be sure to obtain and save all receipts itemizing any and all expenses you incurred as a result of your accident. Receipts must be dated and contain legible and complete vendor identification.
BIG MISTAKES clients make:
Not seeing a doctor immediately after an accident
Not informing your doctor of ALL injuries and problems
Not Keeping all doctor appointments and following all doctor advice
Speaking to insurance companies about liability and injuries before speaking with an attorney
Medical Payments Before Your Case Is Settled
While your case is being handled, we try to have your medical bills paid from one of the following places: Our letter of Protection to a provider, your health insurance provider, our Personal Injury Protection (PIP) or medical payments (Med Pay) provision of your automobile insurance policy, or your worker’s compensation insurance. Make sure you provide us with all medical insurance providers so we can get those bills paid.
Keep Detailed Records
Please be sure to record the following:
Lost days/time from work.
How is this affecting your life? Pain and suffering.
What daily tasks and hobbies are you unable to perform due to the injury? (ie; cooking, exercise)
any photographs of your injuries
Many times our clients are involved in accidents where there is no health insurance in place to pay for their medical bills. In such cases, the doctors may accept a Letter of Protection from our office. This letter will guarantee that the physicians bill will be taken care of out of the settlement proceeds. Texas laws permit health care providers to file a “hospital lien” which must be paid out of the proceeds of your case.
This is not a simple subject. Basically, if your health insurance provider (an Erisa based policy – usually through your job) puts us on notice that they paid your bills, you cannot get money from a third party (defendant’s auto insurance) without repaying your health insurance company. We deal with this on a regular basis and have had much success in negotiating the health insurance companies subrogation liens down.
They will Investigate your Past and may Photograph you
Following an accident, insurance investigators have been known to videotape and or photograph your activities. Insurance companies usually don’t spend the resources to do so on smaller injury cases, but larger injury cases merit such activities. They are looking for use of canes, crutches, neck braces, heavy lifting, exercise, etc. Depending on the value of the case, insurance adjusters may look into your past record. They are looking for felony convictions within the last ten years in addition to other civil filings you may have had. If you believe you are being watched notify us immediately and we will handle it.
Why Does It Take So Long?
It is imperative to wait until you reach Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) before discussing a settlement with the insurance company. Not doing so, would fail to maximize the value of your case. Once you reach MMI we usually get a demand package out within a couple of weeks and any settlement discussions usually conclude within 30-90 days after that. Although most of our cases settle in this state, that is not always the case. In some cases a lawsuit must be filed. This can be a necessary action, but is a complex and lengthy process which can delay your recovery of compensation.
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