We handle our cases on an individual basis, and inform our clients accordingly. There are, however, questions that pop up every now and again. We thought we'd provide some guidance on some we are usually asked.
Can I talk about the accident with my friends on Facebook?
We ask that you don't. We ask that you don't speak to anyone about your case except us and your doctor. That's because opposing parties like to take your statements out of context and use them to limit or even deny your claim. We've handled a number of cases where Facebook posts and pictures were all offered into evidence out of context. You really don't want an adversarial party to give your statements and pictures meanings that you never intended.
Should I take pictures of the damage that occurred?
Yes. We're often retained well after much of the physical damage of a collision or accident has been cleaned up and repaired. Since virtually everyone has an iPhone these days, we encourage our clients or their families or friends to take many, many pictures of the damage at the scene. That way, the evidence may be preserved that may otherwise become lost.
I'm not too taken with my doctor. Should I follow his instructions about treatment?
Yes, unless you obtain a differing second opinion. Opposing parties, whether they be insurance carriers or attorneys, love to show off medical records where the doctor has described his patient as being non-compliant.
Should I keep a journal?
Yes, you should. As people, we don't remember things real well. We might go through six months of hellish pains and limitations and forget it just a few weeks later. Or describe it as a "hard time," and then not be able to say more than a few sentences about it. A daily journal will provide us the knowledge and evidence of what your situation was really like. The caveat to this is that once you start a journal you need to keep it up. If you give up on it a third of the way through your rehabilitation, an opposing attorney could use that to argue that your rehabilitation wasn't as bad and as long as you said it was.
Years ago, we were able to settle a nursing home wrongful-death case on terms very favorable to our client's family because the family members kept a journal of their visits to the home. They recorded the deplorable conditions of the nursing home and instances where the staff had mistreated their father. We might never have been able to negotiate a favorable settlement without that journal.
Am I being filmed or photographed?
You might be. Insurance carriers deploy investigators to videotape and photograph accident victims in an attempt to show that they are feigning their injuries or their limitations. If you think you are being watched, call us and don't pose for the camera. We can't tell you how bad that looks.
Why is it taking so long?
We try to be as nimble as possible, but most of the time we're dealing with large corporate carriers or courts, places where time seems to stand still. Depending upon the case, it might take months or even years to resolve.
What is the value of my case?
The $64,000 question, isn't it. There are lawyer sites that advertise the "answer" to that question, but the real answer is, it depends. It depends on the circumstances of your case, the lawyer's expertise, the law, and a host of other factors. In over twenty years of practice, we haven't seen two cases that were alike. That's why it is important that you give due consideration to the attorney you want to retain to handle your case.