8 Great Rules

    • 1. Tell the Truth
      This is the single most important rule. It's the right thing to do as well as the smart thing to do. You will eventually have to testify under oath. Juries will not abide a liar. If you are caught not telling the truth, your case will be destroyed. If I have reason to believe that you are not telling the truth, I will not take your case. If I find you are not telling the truth after I have taken your case, I will withdraw.
    • 2. Get Medical Treatment
      Being in a wreck is traumatic in itself. Often the first instinct is to try to put it behind you and hope you get better without medical care. The problem is that many times failure to get medical care just prolongs the effects of injury, or even makes them worse. Your doctor's job is to help you recover from your injuries as much as possible. Don't make his job harder by waiting to get care. Go to the hospital after a wreck. Often the ER physician will tell you to follow up with your family physician if the condition continues, and even return to the ER if it gets significantly worse. Follow your physician's advice. You need evaluation by your physician to determine the extent of your injuries, and to minimize their effects.
    • 3. Be Candid & Honest with Your Doctor
      Some folks tend to try to hide or downplay symptoms in the hope that they will go away; that can backfire. If your doctor doesn't know something is wrong, he or she can't treat it, possibly prolonging the effects of injury. If you are hurting, tell your doctor, and be as specific as possible. By the same token, do not overstate your symptoms. That can lead to unnecessary treatment with unwanted side effects. Although it's rare, if your doctor or I suspect that you are overstating your symptoms, I will not take your case.
    • 4. Follow You Doctor's Orders
      In order to recover from your injuries as much as possible, you must follow your doctor's recommendations. Furthermore, in Alabama, you have a duty to mitigate, or minimize, your damages. That means that if medical treatment will help your recovery, you should undergo treatment. If your doctor says that you need physical therapy, go to physical therapy. Take medications as prescribed. It is very important to follow any restrictions on your activities by your doctor. If your doctor says that you shouldn't lift more than 25 lbs, then don't do it. Be sure to provide a copy of your restrictions to your employer, so that accommodations can be made on your job. I know that it's not easy to ask your boss for something like that, but it is very important. You don't want some insurance corporate defense lawyer accusing you of not doing everything that you can to recover as much as possible.
    • 5. Hire a Lawyer
      Get a lawyer involved early. There are many things that you will need help with that cannot be fully address here, or sometimes even anticipated, when you have been injured. A lawyer might need to go to the scene of the wreck and take photos, locate and talk to witnesses before memories fade, hire an accident reconstruction expert to evaluate the scene before evidence is lost, or even purchase your vehicle if it has been totaled, before it is destroyed, in order to save crucial evidence. Get a copy of the wreck report from the police department and take it to your first meeting with your lawyer. Unfortunately, that report is not admissible into evidence at trial if the insurance corporate defense lawyer objects, and they usually do. But it will help your lawyer investigate the wreck. Your lawyer's job is protecting your rights. Don't make that job harder by a delay in starting his investigation.
    • 6. Document Lost Time from Work
      If your doctor takes you off from work, be sure and provide a work excuse to your employer. Keep a copy of all work excuses to help document lost earnings. No one likes to be off work for an extended time. You worry about protecting your job and paying your bills. But it is important for your recovery to follow your doctor's advice. If you lose your job, begin looking for work as soon as your doctor releases you. If you are still on doctor's restrictions, be sure to note that on job applications where requested. Failure to do so may make you look dishonest even if you have already told the person interviewing you.
    • 7. Talk to Your Insurance Company
      Let your insurance company know that you have been in a wreck that was someone else's fault. Take a copy of the wreck report to your insurance company. Most of the time, the report has the opinion of the investigating officer as to fault. If you have no-fault medical payments coverage, make a claim for any medical bills you have. Your insurance rates will not likely increase because it is no-fault insurance. This prevents part of a lifetime maximum benefit on your medical insurance from being used for medical bills resulting from the wreck. Your lawyer will address other potential insurance benefits from your policy if you take a copy of your declarations page. You may be able to recover for your injuries even if the wrongdoer did not have insurance.
    • 8. Don't Talk to the Wrongdoer's Insurance Company
      Sometimes the wrongdoer's insurance company may hire an insurance adjuster to get information from you that will damage your case. An insurance adjuster may phrase a question in a way that misleads you into saying something that you never intended. They may record you without your knowledge, and use the recording against you later. Many times when an insurance adjuster has requested an interview with my client, I have agreed on the condition that I am able to interview the person they insure. I have never had an insurance adjuster to agree to allow me to do so. We advise clients to avoid talking to anyone except their treating doctor and lawyer about the injuries or wreck.

Insightful advice from a Athens Personal Injury Attorney

At Shipman & Associates, P.C., we believe that client education is a powerful tool that can make the difference between victory and defeat. Our Athens personal injury lawyer at Shipman & Associates, P.C. is here to ensure that you get the compensation that you are owed. Below are his 8 great rules to follow after an injury. By going along with these and getting in contact with a skilled attorney as soon as possible, you may be able to maximize your chances of success.

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