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What You Should Do/Not Do Following After An Injury

Law Office of Bruce C. Betzer Dec. 26, 2023

Accidents can happen anytime, anywhere, and to anyone. They're unexpected, frightening, and can leave you feeling uncertain about what to do next. We're here to provide some crucial steps to take - and those to avoid - following a personal injury. 

1) Do Seek Medical Attention

First things first, your well-being is our utmost concern. Regardless of the perceived severity of your injuries, it's essential to seek immediate medical attention. Some injuries aren't immediately apparent and delaying treatment could worsen your condition. It's also important to note that timely medical attention strengthens your personal injury claim. 

Remember to follow all recommended treatments, attend all follow-up appointments, and keep detailed records of your medical expenses. These include bills, receipts, and any out-of-pocket costs. Also, be sure to obtain copies of all medical reports, test results, and treatment plans. This documentation will serve as valuable evidence in support of your claim. 

2) Do Report the Incident

Once your health is looked after, it's crucial to report the incident to the appropriate authorities or individuals. This could mean calling the police for a car accident, notifying your employer if the injury happened at work, or informing the property owner if the accident took place on their premises. Reporting the incident helps create an official record of the accident, which can serve as significant evidence for your claim. 

3) Do Gather Evidence

Collecting evidence is a critical step in building a strong personal injury case. We advise you to take photos or videos of the accident scene, including any hazards or dangerous conditions. If there were witnesses present, please gather their contact information. Any physical evidence, such as damaged property or defective products, should be preserved. Also, consider keeping a journal documenting your pain, suffering, and how the injury has impacted your daily life. 

4) Do Notify Your Insurance Company

If the injury was caused by a car accident or other incident covered by insurance, you should notify your insurance company as soon as possible. Many insurance policies have strict time limits for filing a claim, so prompt notification is vital to your claim's success. Be sure to provide accurate and detailed information regarding the accident and your injuries. 

5) Don't Accept the Insurance Company's First Offer

Insurance companies often attempt to offer quick settlements to minimize their financial liability. It's important to remember that insurance companies are businesses, and like any business, their primary goal is to minimize expenses and maximize profits. 

When an insurance company makes a quick settlement offer, it's often because they're trying to close the case before you have a chance to fully understand the extent of your injuries or damages. They're banking on the fact that you might be overwhelmed, scared, or desperate for financial help, and might take a lower offer just to get immediate relief. 

However, this initial offer may not cover all your current, and future medical bills, lost wages, pain, and suffering, and other damages. It often takes time for the full impact of an injury to become clear. You might need ongoing physical therapy, surgery, or other treatments that weren't immediately apparent. 

Furthermore, once you accept an offer and sign a release, you can't go back and ask for more money if you later realize your injuries are more severe than you thought.  

6) Don't Post or Talk About Your Accident on Social Media

While it may be tempting to share your experience on social media, we advise against it. Insurance companies and defense lawyers often use posts or comments made on social media as evidence to discredit your claim. They may argue that you aren't as injured as you claim or that your injuries are not a direct result of the accident. To protect your case, avoid posting anything related to the incident or your injury until your claim has been resolved. 

7) Don't Discuss Your Case with Anyone Other Than Your Lawyer

In addition to not posting on social media, it's a good general rule of thumb to be cautious about who you discuss your case with. It's best to only share details of your accident and injuries with your lawyer, as they are bound by attorney-client privilege and will keep any information confidential. Friends and family may accidentally disclose sensitive information that could potentially harm your claim.

Additionally, do not speak to the insurance company or any representatives without consulting your lawyer first. They are trained and skilled at getting you to say something that could be used against you, even if it was unintentional. 

8) Do Contact a Personal Injury Attorney

If you've been injured in an accident, having a knowledgeable and compassionate personal injury attorney on your side is crucial. At the Law Office of Bruce C. Betzer, we're dedicated to fighting for your rights and helping you obtain the compensation you deserve.

Contact our Metairie office today to schedule a free consultation. We'll review your case, provide personalized guidance, and answer any questions you may have. Don't wait, take the first step towards securing your future. Call us or fill out our online form to get started.