If a case is easy and simple, then a claim will be determined quickly. For example, if you were sitting at a stop light and you are rear-ended, that is a reasonably simple case. But often, cases are not that simple. In those cases, it is a matter of building up information and making sure that we dot all of our I’s and cross all of our T’s all the way through. We make sure that we have our liability issues, (i.e. who caused the crash), and a lot of times that is with pictures and/or videos. Police reports that come in are usually incorrect and invalid in many cases. They have the parties switched around, the diagrams are mislabeled, or there are wrong names on the report. We must try and fix each one of those so that by the time the client is starting to recover and it is time to settle the case, we have a solid case to resolve.
How Important Are Evidence And Witnesses In A Personal Injury Claim?
Evidence and witnesses are key in any personal injury claim. Pictures are also extremely valuable because the reports may come in and have the car hit on the wrong side. When we or one of our investigators takes pictures of the car, we take pictures of the entire car; back, front, sides, top, and underneath if necessary. We need to know that we are dealing with the right vehicle. Sometimes that passenger side front panel that has been wrecked was not even from this accident and the other party is claiming that it was caused by this accident. We like to get witness statements if at all possible, and we like to get statements from our clients very early on in the case so that if the case drags on a while, we know where we are. People forget details after so many months go by.
Do You Recommend That Your Clients Keep A Journal Of Events Following An Injury?
Yes. Most of the time, our clients have good and bad days, so we at least ask them to write down the details of their “bad days.” They may have woken up having done too much the day before and are feeling sore, etc. These would all be events that we want documented. For some reason, a lot of times Mondays are really bad. For instance, in my life, I have little kids and we play all weekend. Therefore, Monday mornings I am a little stiffer than maybe on a Thursday or Friday. For similar reasons, we ask our clients to journal their activities and emotions on particularly bad days. We also ask for them to journal facts pertaining to what they could physically do before the accident, but maybe not after the accident. For example, if they cannot carry groceries post-accident because it causes them pain and they had no issues doing this before, we would want them to write that down.
It is not always as simple as “I just can’t do XYZ anymore.” Sometimes it is they cannot do as much as they could prior to the accident. This will help us so that we may present to the insurance companies the kind of a day in the life of our client and how the accident has negatively affected their lives.
What Is the Importance Of Medical Treatment In A Personal Injury Case?
Medical treatment is a must within 14 days! A few years ago, Florida changed their rules. Now, you must see a doctor within fourteen days of the accident. Your PIP, known as Personal Injury Protection, part of your insurance will not have to pay a dime even though you pay for it every month if you do not see a doctor within 14 days of the accident.
Don’t put off medical care. If you are hurting see your doctor. A lot of times, people will underestimate the pain and write off the pain that they are in thinking that they are going to be fine and will be able to go back to work. See a doctor. Get checked out. A little stiffness or soreness might be nothing, but it could be more severe than you think. If it turns out that you really do not have any injuries and are fine, then we do not have a case. However, we always want them to be sure.
Sometimes the pain increases after a week or two, at least they will have documented it by having visited a medical professional.
As far as missing doctor appointments, it is understandable that life sometimes gets in the way between kids, sports, school, work, etc. It is important to seek treatment, but if you do need to miss an appointment, at least make a note of why you had to cancel any appointments. Let the doctor know as early as possible when you are going to miss an appointment. We want continuation of treatment not only to help your case, but to get you as healthy as possible.
For more information on Viability Of A Personal Injury Claim, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (561) 588-9992 today.