What You Should Do When You’ve Been Injured

Seek Proper Medical Attention

The first thing you should do when you’ve been injured is seek proper medical attention.  It is also important to follow the doctors’ recommendations.  If you don’t, you’re healing process may take longer or, worse yet, you may not properly heal.  If you think you cannot afford medical case, you should consult an attorney.  Often, your attorney can assist in locating doctors who will provide treatment and wait for payment later.

Consult an Attorney

Once you have sought medical care, or determined that you need care but cannot afford it, you should consult an attorney.   Typically, there are deadlines that must be met in order to pursue recovery for injuries, so you should not delay in contacting an attorney.  Even if time has passed since your injuries occurred, you should still consult an attorney since there may be good grounds to pursue a late claim.   The attorneys at Altemus & Wagner will take the time to talk with you and explain your rights and how to obtain proper compensation for your injuries.  Your initial consultation on personal injury matters is free.

Maintain Accurate Records

Your course of medical treatment, hospitalizations, surgeries, prescriptions, and the like are important to your claim.  You should maintain an accurate record of all these items, including the dates, names, places and what occurred at each.  This will be helpful in resolving your claim.

Tell Your Doctors About All Of Your Complaints

Doctors’ records are one of the primary sources of information used by the insurance companies to evaluate your claim.  The doctors’ records can only be as complete as the information you give them.

Maintain Notes Directed To Your Attorney

It is usually a good idea to maintain note of your symptoms, course of medical treatment and any other significant events.  Your notes can also identify any witnesses who may have seen the accident or who may have seen your injuries or the effects of your injuries.  Sometimes a personal injury claim can take many months to resolve, so it is best to document significant events to refresh your recollection at a later time.  Your notes should be written in the form of a letter, note or memorandum to your attorney.  That way the contents of your notes will likely be protected by the attorney-client privilege.

Identify All Witnesses

Statements from witnesses who saw the injury producing event, or who witnessed the nature or severity of your injuries, are helpful to obtain proper compensation.  Keep a record of any witnesses, what they observed, and their addresses and telephone numbers.

Avoid Written Or Recorded Statements

Never, Never, never give a written or recorded statement to anyone unless you talk to an attorney first and get the attorney’s approval.  Insurance companies often send someone out right away to get a statement from the parties involved in an accident.  Statements like this are usually used to try to minimize any compensation for injuries and damages.  Often, these statements are requested before some injuries have had a chance to manifest themselves.  If you give a statement without knowing the full magnitude of your injuries, the insurance company will try to use your statement against you when you seek compensation for later discovered injuries.    If you make a mistake in your statement, sometimes even a misspoken word will be used against you later.  Avoid written or recorded statements.

Resist Talking To Any Insurance Company

You should resist talking to any insurance company other than your own.  When you retain an attorney, the insurance company representatives (other than your own) are prohibited from talking to you.  Even before you retain an attorney, the better practice is to avoid talking with the other person’s insurance company.   You should contact an attorney immediately and refer the insurance company to your attorney.

Never Sign An Authorization or Release Without Legal Advise

Never, Never, never sign an authorization allowing the insurance company to get your medical records.  Typically, the other person’s insurance company will ask you to sign a release allowing them to secure your medical records to “evaluate” your injuries.  The way most insurance company releases are worded, they could use that document to obtain all sorts of your personal records.  You should never sign such a release without the approval of your attorney.

Take Pictures

Pictures sometimes are the best source of evidence as to what happened in the accident and the degree of damage to the vehicles.  It is usually helpful to get photos of the scene, the vehicles, and any injuries that you suffer.  These photos will often become tools to assist in a personal injury settlement or, if your case cannot be settled, they may become exhibits at a later trial.

You will find a great deal of helpful information on this website. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, call us at any time. You will be able to speak directly to an attorney who will answer your questions. There is never a charge to call and talk about a personal injury matter. You may also go to our online personal injury questionnaire and submit your information online. An attorney will contact you right away. If you prefer, we can also visit you in your home, place of business or care facility to discuss your personal injury claim.

Click here to fill out our online case questionnaire.

Since most of the time injured victims will suffer some form of loss (be it income, physical, emotional, or other), our legal system provides for compensation in these instances. However, the law only provides a limited time within which to pursue your claim, so you should contact us right away. If you wait too long, you will be forever barred from pursuing your claim.

If you have been injured in an accident, call Altemus & Wagner so you can avoid mistakes commonly made by injured individuals. Most likely, there will be a source of recovery for you. Don’t forget our online personal injury questionnaire where you can submit your information online.


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