When someone suffers a personal injury, often times, the individual is unsure of the key steps to take and not prepared when meeting with an attorney. As a legal advocate for the families and victims of personal injuries in Providence, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts, we at Decof, Decof & Barry handle a wide range of injury claims and want to take this opportunity to offer important information to consider.
- Seek legal advice early on. Be ready to see an attorney early on, if you fall victim to a personal injury either due to an accident, medical malpractice, products liability or a slip and fall incident. Do not take matters into your own hands and deal with risk managers or insurance adjusters all on your own. Seek guidance from an attorney with experience who can guide and counsel you on how to best proceed.
- Honesty is the best policy. Be honest when describing the full details of the incident, past injuries and medical treatment, including previous accidents/incidents or even if you have a criminal record. Your lawyer will be better prepared if he/she knows it all — negative and positive — from the beginning. This will prevent your attorney from being caught off guard when the ugly truth surfaces later on in the course of the lawsuit — and believe me — it will surface. Here are the top tips to consider:
- When you meet with an attorney of your choosing, tell all of the facts. Essentially, tell your attorney the basis of the personal injury claim.
- Provide details as to your background, including any previous injuries as well as your medical history.
- If you have been involved in previous litigation, let your lawyer know that.
- If you have a criminal record, inform your attorney.
- Follow medical advice. Be prepared to follow the advice of your medical providers. When you suffer from a personal injury and you visit an emergency room, your primary care doctor or another medical specialist, follow their recommendations for treatment, whether it be testing, lab work, physical therapy, X-rays, or a referral to a different type of specialist. Taking care of your body and injury must be a priority. If you have taken the time to obtain medical treatment, take the time to follow the advice of those doctors, nurses, and therapists who have treated you.
- You may be under surveillance. Be aware that once a lawsuit is filed, the defense may hire an investigator to watch or potentially film you. If you claim that your back hurts from an accident so that you cannot carry groceries or shovel, then do not carry groceries or shovel. If you can do those activities, then do not claim you cannot.
- Be restrictive with social media. Do not post, text or email any information on how this accident happened, your injuries, or your treatment. This is your personal matter and should not be shared with the world, which is in essence what you are doing when you post on social media. Talk with family members and friends and ask them to respect your privacy. If someone is concerned about your progress and how you are feeling, ask them to pick up the phone and have an old-fashioned telephone call.