Here for An Accident Checklist
Guide To Our Clients In Personal Injury Cases
of the most important things you can do to help us with your
case is to keep good records. We will be depending on you
to send to us all medical bills you receive and any insurance
policies or important papers that you think might help us
with your case. We may also need copies of your income tax
returns for the last three years. Be sure that we get a list
of the names and addresses of anyone who was or might have
been a witness to your injury. This information can come only
from you and we are counting on your help.
DOCTORS Your doctor is interested solely in your physical well-being.
It is not necessary to discuss your legal problems with him. If
your doctor should ask whether you have an attorney,tell him the
truth, but don't volunteer this information unless asked. Lengthy
discussions with your doctor about the worth of your legal case
may lead him to believe that you are more concerned with monetary
recovery than you are with the restoration of your health (which
can hurt your case).
II. TELEPHONE CALLS You may, from time to time, receive telephone
calls of a suspicious anonymous nature inquiring where you might
be reached, where you are employed (or offering you a job). Remember,
that as a general rule, jobs are not offered over the telephone.
If possible, obtain the name and address of the person calling.
Then, discontinue the conversation and immediately call your attorney.
III. INSURANCE ADJUSTERS You will probably, at some time, be
contacted by telephone, or personally, by an insurance claims adjuster,
the Retail Credit Bureau, or other persons who will readily identify
themselves and will try to talk to you about your injury, the progress
of your case or simply your personal affairs. You are under absolutely
no obligation to disclose any information to anyone without the
advise and consent of your attorney.Certain legal traps can easily
be set by asking what are seemingly innocent questions. Also, don't
forget that telephone conversations can be recorded and actions
by you can be recorded on tape and on film. In our experience, some
insurance companies actually take movies of our clients doing home
repairs, working, and generally going about their business.
Don't be ashamed to do all that you can do under your doctor's advice,
but do not exaggerate or minimize those things to your attorneys.
We need to know exactly what you can and can not do, since it may
be the subject of a surprise move.
IV. ARM-CHAIR COUNSEL You will inevitably find that everybody
knows somebody who has been through exactly what you are going through-or
have been through it themselves - and are more than willing to advise
you even to the extent of giving you off-the-cuff legal counsel.
It is wise to caution the members of your family or your close friends
that your case is very private business and is not to be entered
into public discussion. Always call your attorney for the answer
to any question you have about your case.
V. CHANGE OF ADDRESS Be sure to report immediately any change
of address or telephone number to your attorney's office. Your attorney
may, from time to time, receive word on your case which needs to
be relayed to you and requires prompt action or decision on your
part. Don't leave town for long periods of time without letting
your attorney know where you can be reached.
VI. SEEKING EMPLOYMENT In your case, as a practical matter,
you should seek employment that your doctor says you are reasonably
and physically able to do. Many cases are lost because the jury
felt that the client should have looked for work and didn't or because
the client did more actual work than he indicated he would do. However,
when applying for any employment, you should never be dishonest
about the fact that you have been injured or that you are in top
physical condition. This could be very detrimental to your case.
Discuss this with your attorney and be open-minded about his advice
regarding future employment.
VII. SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS If your injury is of a very serious
nature and you find that you may be disabled for as much as one
year, chances are you may be eligible for government benefits. But,
be sure to consult with your attorney before taking any steps in
this direction as this may have a direct effect on your case.
VIII. INSURANCE CLAIMS Be careful to go over with your attorney
any claim forms you wish to submit on health or accident insurance
which you may carry at the time of your injury. Don't ever sign
any papers regarding your physical condition or insurance benefits
without letting your attorney check them. Bring us any papers you
receive from insurance companies or adjusters.
IX. CITATION AND NOTICE PAPERS If, at any time, you are served
with a summons or any type of notice by a sheriff's deputy or constable,
bring it to your attorney's office immediately.
X. MISCELLANEOUS Should a situation arise where you might question
what you should say, where you should go, or even what you should
wear, if in doubt, ask your attorney's advice.