What to do When You’ve Been Injured
When you suffer an injury, there’s usually a lot of confusion. It’s an excited situation and you are likely in a great deal of pain. The following steps may help ensure you have a viable claim once the dust settles.
Easier said than done, we know. But try to keep as level a head as possible. You’ll need some focus to follow the remaining steps
Write down the names of witnesses. Write down the license plates of cars. Write down the address. Write down anything you can. It may not seem important to you, but it may be vital in court. If you can’t write, use your voice memo app on your phone and dictate. Or call a trusted friend and dictate to them so they can write for you. Better yet . . .
Use your phone to take pictures and videos of everything. Then do it again from multiple angles. Take pictures up close and from far away. When measurements are important, you can insert things like coins, dollar bills, or even your own hand/foot into the picture for reference.
As soon as you have removed yourself from harm’s way, you need to interview yourself. Studies show that memories of traumatic events fade at a rapid pace. You won’t only forget things that occurred: you will forget the order in which they occurred, you will forget details, and frequently (and innocently), your mind will make things up to fill in the blanks. To make sure your attorneys have all the information needed to help you, we encourage you to record yourself giving as detailed a narrative of the events leading up to, during, and immediately after the incident.
Keep the Video Rolling
You may record the other party making admissions that could be used to help your case.
Seek Medical Attention
Obviously, this should be your focus. If this is your first step because you are unable to perform the other steps, ask a trusted friend to perform the other steps for you (or aid you in performing them). Then get medical attention as
quickly as possible. Florida law says you must seek medical attention within 14 days of an accident for that injury to be attributed to the accident. If you have exceeded that 14-day limit, there may still be hope, but you’ll need one of the several qualifying legal exceptions.
You should do everything the doctors tell you to do. Even if you don’t have
insurance, the other party’s insurance may provide medical payments. Further, Murphy & Downs can file letters of protection which will allow you to get the medical treatments you need while your case is pending. Do not miss out on medical treatment (that someone else will likely pay for). You will suffer for it in the long run.
Do Not Speak to Insurance Companies
Their job (even your own insurance company) is to pay as little as possible. Everything they don’t pay you is profit for them. They will try to get you to settle claims for pennies on the dollar and they have a lot of sneaky practices they deploy in trying to trick you into this. Further, you should not negotiate on your own. Studies show that those represented by counsel recover more in damages,
even after paying attorney fees and costs. It does not pay to go at it alone.
Keep a Journal
Buy a “composition” notebook (the kind with the black and white cover that looks like TV static). These notebooks have been admissible as evidence so long as no pages are torn out. So do not tear out any pages. Keep a daily log of every
instance of pain or discomfort you experience, all of your medical visits and the mileage to and from, any missed work or employment opportunities, any missed special occasions, any missed social events, any hobbies you can no longer (even if temporary) enjoy, and any other thing you can think of that is caused by the accident.
Keep Your Receipts
For everything. All medical expenses all the way down to Tylenol and Band-Aids. Every penny you spend as a result of the accident should be accounted for so we can charge those expenses to the other party.
Hire Murphy & Downs
As soon as you are able, contact our office to schedule a free case analysis and consultation. The attorneys at Murphy & Downs will give you an honest opinion and lay out your options for you in terms you can understand. There is no fee for our consultation and there is never a fee until we win for you.
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