Do’s and Don’ts After an Injury
Personal injuries can have devastating effects on victims’ lives. Severe injuries can require extensive medical treatment and incur considerable expenses. In fact, each driver is expected to file an insurance claim every 17.9 years.
At Ellis & Thomas, PLLC, our personal injury attorneys fight to change the dynamic from big insurance companies to individuals seeking fair compensation for personal injuries. We strive to become a trusted liaison between our clients and insurers near Houston, Texas. Also, we proudly serve clients in Harris, Fort Bend, Montgomery, and Brazoria Counties, helping them get their lives back on track.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim in Texas
In Texas, a personal injury claim is a legal action that seeks to recover damages for a person injured due to another party’s negligence or intentional actions. A personal injury claim aims to compensate the injured person for their losses, which may include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
To file a personal injury claim in Texas, the injured person (the plaintiff) must show that the liable party (the defendant) was at fault for the accident or incident that caused their injuries. This process typically involves proving that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care, that the defendant breached that duty of care, and that the breach caused the plaintiff’s injuries.
Personal injury claims in Texas can arise from various accidents and incidents, including car accidents, slip and falls, dog bites, medical malpractice, and more. It is important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney in Texas when personal injury victims believe someone else may be at fault for their injuries.
Things to Do and Avoid When Filing a Personal Injury Claim
The following items are common dos and don’ts when filing a personal injury claim in Texas:
Don’t leave the scene of an accident until you’ve exchanged information.
Leaving the accident scene without exchanging information can open the door to hit-and-run claims. Therefore, victims must always stay at the accident scene to exchange driver and insurance information with the other parties involved. Additionally, it can make it extremely difficult to track down the liable party for insurance claim purposes.
Don’t talk about the case, not even to your friends.
A good rule of thumb is to avoid discussing any details regarding the claim. In particular, avoid posting anything related to the incident on social media, as any information may be misconstrued as used against the accident victim to deny claims. Accident victims must avoid talking to anyone outside their immediate circle (including friends and family) since defense attorneys can target these individuals as potential information sources.
Don’t talk to the insurance adjuster first.
It is highly discouraged for accident victims to speak with an insurance adjuster before consulting with a professional personal injury attorney. Adjusters generally fish for information they can use to deny or reduce the victim’s claim. Above all, accident victims must avoid giving any statements, recorded or otherwise, without their attorney present.
Don’t accept the first deal you’re offered by the insurance company.
It is vital to understand that accident victims should not take the first offer from an insurance company. As a general rule, insurers pressure victims to take the first deal and settle quickly. The first offer is almost always a lowball offer, as it does not account for future costs that may arise from ongoing medical treatments and potential complications. Getting a thorough medical evaluation and consulting with a personal injury attorney before settling is crucial.
Don’t neglect your injuries, even if you’re uninsured or underinsured.
Accident victims must ensure to take care of their health even when they lack insurance or have basic coverage. Failing to address injuries allows insurance companies to claim the injuries are not serious enough and do not warrant a significant payout.
Do contact a personal injury attorney.
One of the first things to do following an accident is to contact a professional personal injury attorney. Ideally, accident victims should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney before filing a claim. In doing so, victims can learn about their rights and obligations. Getting a personal injury attorney on board from the beginning helps accident victims protect their right to fair compensation.
Do keep records of everything.
Keeping accurate records of everything is critical to ensure a successful personal injury claim. In particular, keeping hard and digital copies of everything (documentation, photos, videos, witness statements, contact information) facilitates proving the claim.
Do write down everything you can remember.
Recollections about accidents can get fuzzy after a while. That is why accident victims cannot afford to leave details up to memory. It is essential to write down everything the victim remembers leading up to, during, and following the accident to ensure no information falls through the cracks. Using voice notes is a great way to keep track of recollections as they appear.
Do keep track of everything related to medical issues.
Accident victims must keep track of everything related to medical issues, such as bills, diagnoses, treatments, prescriptions, and emergency room visits. Also, accident victims must follow their doctor’s appointments and recommendations to the letter. Failing to do so justifies insurers to claim the injuries are not severe enough to deserve compensation.
Do record how this is affecting your life.
One of the most important things to do is keep track of how personal injuries have affected the victim’s life. Particularly, accident victims should record how injuries have affected their ability to work, mental and emotional conditions, daily activities, and overall well-being. Demonstrating the extent to which personal injuries have disrupted the victim’s life helps prove the severity of the injuries sustained in the accident.
Make the Right Choices for You
At Ellis & Thomas, PLLC, we believe in helping our clients make the right choice for themselves. We have the knowledge, experience, and resources to assist your specific situation.
Contact our team today to speak with a professional personal injury attorney that’s got your best interest at heart. We proudly serve clients in Houston, including Harris, Fort Bend, Montgomery, and Brazoria Counties, Texas.