What are a Client’s duties in a personal injury case?
When a client comes into my office for the first time, or I meet the client at their home, it gives me a chance to get to really know the client, go over the facts of the accident and determine what type of injuries were sustained. Usually, most people are injured when they are involved in a traffic related accident, be it by car, truck, motorcycle, bicycle or walking as a pedestrian.
First, you may feel in shock and your adrenaline may be racing at a 100 mph. This can mask the pain that you might otherwise feel. It is very important to get checked out immediately by paramedics, Hospital ER or a emergency walk in clinic. You must do this the same day as your accident or within minutes. In addition to checking on your injuries, there are other things that you can do at the scene of the accident:
*Take photos of the scene of the accident with your cell phone
*Take photos of all vehicle damage and placement of the vehicles at point of collision
*Take photos right away of your injuries if you are bleeding or show other demonstrative type injuries
*Exchange insurance information and driver’s license with the at-fault driver
After a client has been checked out by the applicable doctor (s), I will encourage my client to keep a diary. Write in the diary everyday and write down how you feel and when you went to the doctor. One year from now, you may not remember what happened on a particular date so a diary will protect your memories. I also encourage my clients to strictly follow their doctors’ advice and not miss appointments. If you do not keep your appointments, your treating physicians will not be able to document your injuries and treatment. This will seriously hurt your case in the long run and also will prevent you from improving.
I like to keep in constant contact with my clients, either by phone, text or email. It is important that your attorney know how you are doing and if anything about your situation has changed. Oftentimes, you will need a referral to a specialist and if I do not keep on top of your treatment, then I will not know that you need to see another doctor or have an MRI, for example.
At the end of your case, I will have a long conference with your doctor (s) to see how your entire treatment progressed and the final outcome. Your doctor will frequently give his or her opinion as to future medical treatment and care. The doctor may have an opinion about your line of work and whether your injuries will allow you to continue working or if you should find another type of career.
In closing, communication is key to having a good relationship with your attorney. Your attorney needs to know everything about you so that he can present a truthful and detailed report to the at-fault driver’s insurance company.