By Ian M. Sack
There are millions of personal injury cases & claims pending today in our courts and with the multitude of insurance carriers out there. Many Claimants (those injured with claims) or Plaintiffs (those injured that are now in a lawsuit in Court) happen to be their own worst enemies when it comes to the success of the end result. There are several things one can do to protect yourself and your claim. While the following is not exhaustive, it provides some guidance.
ALWAYS TELL YOUR LAWYER THE TRUTH: Trust is the key to the attorney-client relationship. You must be upfront with your lawyer about what happened to you and what impact it has had without exaggeration or dishonesty.
STAY OFF OF ALL SOCIAL MEDIA: This can and will hurt you. Silence on social media will be your friend. Any details posted on-line are open game to defendants and their insurance carriers who seek to limit or halt your financial recovery. Travel, activity level and social calendar are all fair game when insurance carriers seek to discredit you.
LIMIT CONVERSATIONS ABOUT YOUR SITUATION/FACTS & INJURIES: Silence is golden. Anything that you say or do can and will be held against you by the adverse insurance carrier who is trying to keep compensation for what was lost from you. It is important to limit who or what is discussed about how your injury occurred and what impact it has had on you. Save this for the litigation when it matters most. Any non-party witness can be called in to answer questions about what you and the witness discussed including but not limited to how the injury occurred and what injuries were sustained. In particular, in no circumstance should you provide a statement to the offender’s insurance carrier or investigator sent out to set you up in bad story.
MIND YOUR OWN EXPECTATION: Not every case is a worth a million dollars. In fact, most are not six or even seven figure cases. The majority of cases/claims are resolved for compensation adequately tailored to even the scales of justice. Sometimes expectations are unrealistic when it comes to value, meaning what the case is worth. Generally, there is a consensus amongst attorneys, negotiators, insurance carriers and their adjusters about value range. Expert costs, discovery, motions and investigators all take time and money. This time and money costs are factored into the value of your case since most expenses of the litigation or claim flow to the client. If the cost of an expert outweighs the value of the case then a cost-benefit analysis must be done. From the outside, the case value may seem skewed however to do those that do this day in and day out, the value is the value, absent other extraordinary circumstances.
OBTAIN IMMEDIATE & FOLLOW UP MEDICAL CARE: If you are injured you must be able to show it through medical documentation. If your injuries are from a car crash then No-Fault Benefits are yours upon timely application (30 days from crash) thus the benefits are part of your own car insurance premium & policy no matter who was at fault for the collision. If you were in a car wreck, Strict Serious Injury Laws are followed in NY. If you are hurt in a car crash, you must have a serious injury to qualify for compensation and that is usually accomplished through medical records. Your injuries must be documented and you must take care of the injury to enable a recovery.
TAKE PHOTOS OR VIDEO: Help yourself by taking video or photos of the injury causing condition and/or the injuries themselves which may on paper not look as impressive as the bruising, swelling, scaring or hardware.
The above are just a few suggestions to help you with your personal injury claim. The attorneys here at D/F are waiting to assist you with your personal injury claim. After years of experience, we know what it takes to be successful. Please call me today if you or a loved one has a personal injury case or question.