INTEGRITY LAW – Your Personal Injury Lawyer in Central Virginia
Tips to Maximize Your Personal Injury Recovery
1. DOCUMENT everything. In today’s world, it’s usually not that hard. If you have a slip-and-fall accident, take a picture of the area, especially of what caused the fall. There are easy voice recorder apps for cell phones. If you record the conversation as you report the accident to the store manager, it may come in handy if he tries to lie on the witness stand later. (Virginia allows recordings of conversations as long as one party to the conversation (you) is aware it’s being recorded.
If you have a car accident get pictures (or have someone else do so if necessary). If the other driver is at fault, you may never see the car again after it’s towed away. Sometimes pictures of a shredded car motivate a jury toward a higher verdict.
Consider whether there may be videocameras around that may have recorded the incident, and ask for a copy. Many stores will archive surveillance video only for a limited time. PRESERVE YOUR EVIDENCE!
2. Get good medical attention. Personal injury cases often come down to a “battle of expert witnesses.” A doctor’s professional opinion of your injuries is much more convincing to a jury than your own testimony. Especially if it’s a “soft-tissue” injury that can’t be seen visibly, your testimony that your back hurts is much more believable if backed up by a medical professional. NOTE: Juries are more impressed by orthopedic surgeons than chiropractors.
3. If there are witnesses, get their contact information and recorded statements if possible. If it’s a “he said/she said” case, you’re much more likely to win with a neutral third party witness to back up your story.
4. Don’t lie. Nothing destroys a good back injury case like a Facebook photo of the “victim” climbing a tree or running on a treadmill.
5. On that note: NOTHING good comes of posting information about your legal case of social media. Trust me – it’s the first thing the other team’s lawyer will check to try to discredit you.
6. Don’t rush into a settlement! Sometimes you will feel pretty much recovered a month after the accident, then have an injury flare back up again. Most injury cases will have a year or two before the statute of limitations runs out, so don’t settle a claim for $500 a month after a crash, only to find out six months later that you still can’t do your job because of injury.
7. HOWEVER, DO NOT miss the statute of limitations. Statutes of limitations vary depending on the injury. If you miss the deadline to file, your case is ABSOLUTELY dead.
8. Get “MedPay” on your auto insurance policy. MedPay is coverage you buy with your own policy that helps cover your medical expenses after a crash. Not all policies have it, but it can really save the day. You would be amazed how many drivers are uninsured – and how many more are underinsured. If another driver hits you and causes $100,000 in injuries but has only $25,000 of insurance, his insurance company will cover only the amount in his policy.
MedPay is an advantage even if the other driver is at fault. It helps cover your initial medical expenses, so you don’t feel rushed into taking a lowball settlement for fear you can’t cover your medical bills while you wait for your case to be settled or tried.