Many of our clients have similar queries regarding how best to proceed with their injury claims. For that reason, we have provided answers to some of the more frequently asked questions with the hope that they serve as a quick reference guide.
Q:How should I keep track of lost wages?
A:Make sure you have a list with the names and addresses of all places from which you lost wages. If you are self-employed, try to obtain records that can provide an accurate indication of the amount of wages you would reasonably expect to accrue during the time period in which you were unable to work. If you work for an employer, keep an accurate record of all days lost from work because of your injuries. Make sure your doctors give you work excuses for days missed due to your injury.
Q:What should I do after an accident?
A:Do not talk to anyone about your accident except a qualified attorney. You are required to talk to your own insurance company, but it may be prudent to have your attorney present during that time. Keep a daily diary of the problems that confront you because of your injuries. If your injury requires a cast, brace, traction, or other appliance, save it. Be sure to bring these appliances to your attorney after you are no longer using them. Also, have someone take a picture of you in any brace, cast, etc. Be sure to keep your attorney advised of any change in your address or telephone number. If you are obtaining your own medical records, please request that the records are certified. If you have any questions regarding these instructions or any other matters that regard your case, please feel free to contact us at any time.
Q:Do I really need an auto accident attorney?
A:Even when you have been injured by the negligence of another party, justice is not automatic. For this reason, it is usually wise to enlist the services of a lawyer you can trust. An attorney can determine all possible sources of insurance, the full extent of your injuries, the statute of limitations, and the damages that may apply to your case. An attorney will also preserve evidence and determine the fair value of your claim.
Q:How should I handle damaged property?
A:Show your damaged automobile and any damaged personal property to your attorney. Make sure you have pictures of any damage before repairs. The trial attorneys at Hasty Pope can use this evidence to help ensure you are fairly compensated for any damages you may have suffered as a result of an accident.
Q:What should I do with police and incident reports?
A:If you have a police or incident report, pass it on to your law firm. If you know of any witnesses to the incident, furnish your lawyer with their correct names, addresses, and telephone numbers. Our staff can interview any witnesses to better determine the cause of the accident. If the witnesses can help us prove that the negligent actions of another party were responsible for your injuries, we can help you obtain financial compensation.
Q:How should I handle doctor visits?
A:You should return to each of your doctors as often as necessary and be sure to tell them in detail all of your potential medical concerns. Immediately advise your lawyer of all doctors you see and the days of your visits. Your lawyer can help determine the severity of your injuries by consulting with your doctors and determining an appropriate amount of compensation to pursue in court.
Q:What should I do with my drug, hospital, and medical bills?
A:Obtain and duplicate copies of all medical, hospital, and drug bills and mail one copy to your personal injury attorney. Also, keep records of any other expenses you may have in connection with your accident, including the hiring of extra help, medical bills, and the costs incurred by going to your doctor. All your bills should be paid by check or you should obtain and keep receipts.
Q:Who will pay my hospital and doctors' bills?
A:In the event of an accident where you have been injured by the negligent actions of another party, the at-fault party or their insurance provider is responsible for reimbursing you for any medical bills that you may have paid. In some instances, your own auto insurance carrier pays your hospital and doctor bills up to the amount of coverage under your policy. Our lawyers can help obtain financial compensation to cover these costs.
Q:How should I handle traffic court?
A:If you are arrested in connection with an auto accident, advise your auto accident attorney of the date, place, and time of any traffic court hearing. It may be possible for us to attend the traffic court to offer you sound and informed legal counsel on how best to proceed with your case.
Q:What should I do with my photographs?
A:If you have any photographs, please send both the negatives and any prints to your auto accident attorney, or any digital files in the event that they were taken with a digital camera. Any photographs that support your claim can be used to ensure that you obtain just and fair financial compensation for your injuries.