Personal Injury Instructions
IMPORTANT—These instructions will cover the majority of the questions that routinely arise. If the success in your case is not what it should be, it may well be due to a breakdown or failure to follow one or more of the suggested instructions.
1. YOUR ADDRESS AND EMPLOYMENT —Please keep us advised of any change of your address, telephone number, e-mail address, name and address of your employer, and occupation. Also advise us of someone who will always know how we can reach you if you move or go on an extended vacation.
2. TALK TO NO ONE —It is important that you not speak with anyone about your personal injury case except attorneys or investigators from our Stamford, Connecticut office. Ask for identification before volunteering information. Before you give your insurance company a statement, notify us so that we can be present if we feel it to be necessary. If you are contacted by an insurance adjustor, refer him or her to our office.
3. TRAFFIC OFFENSES —Never plead guilty to any traffic offense if you are arrested in connection with a car accident without first consulting our lawyers. (Call us immediately and we will see that you are represented.) In the event of a coroner’s inquest or other type of hearing, be sure to notify us so that we will be able to represent you in connection with this inquest or hearing.
4. CAR REPAIR —Do not have your automobile repaired until photographs are made of it. Take photographs of the automobile from all angles, and if damaged, of the windshield, steering wheel, seat tracks, etc. After photographs are taken of your vehicle, have your collision carrier repair your automobile as promptly as possible.
5. PHOTOGRAPHS —Please send us negatives and prints of any photographs pertaining to your case that you or any of your friends have taken. If you take digital photographs, jpeg images may be e-mailed to us. If at any time you are required to be in the hospital and are receiving treatment such as traction, or anything else that may be photographed, pleased notify our office. Photograph anything that may change with the passing of time, such as bruises or healing wounds.
6. YOUR DOCTOR —You should follow all orders from your doctors, and return to them for as many visits as necessary. Be thorough when telling your doctor about any pains or injuries that you have; do not minimize or eliminate any of your symptoms. Keep us updated with all of your doctors’ names and addresses.
7. MEDICAL, DRUGS AND MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS —Obtain and keep duplicate copies of all medical and hospital bills. You should periodically send these bills to us for the file. You should also keep records of any expenses you may have in connection with your accident, such as hiring extra help. All your bills should be paid by check, or you should obtain and keep receipts. You should make and keep a list of all the medical bills and the costs incurred in going to your doctor including taxicab receipts and parking, etc.
8. PAY MEDICAL BILLS PROMPTLY —Forward all bills to both your insurer and your lawyers. Your major medical insurer should process all your bills. Do not expect doctors or hospitals to wait for payment until after your case is tried or settled; pay your balances as quickly as possible. If you cannot pay your medical bills, your lawyers can write a letter of protection, explaining to the doctors and hospitals that payment will be made to them out of any settlement monies. However, be aware that some doctors may not accept this letter as adequate promise of payment.
9. KEEP RECORDS OF COMPLAINTS —Please keep a daily or weekly record of your complaints, bruises, and progress and how long they last. Keep a list of activities which you cannot do and why—such as sitting in one position too long, shoveling snow, bowling, getting down on your knees, walking up steps, etc. This can be very helpful a year or so later. This will enable you to recall all of your pain and difficulty more clearly. Save your cast, brace, collar, etc.
10. HEALTH WITNESSES —Be alert for acquaintances, fellow employees and supervisors who can testify as to your health, work ability, physical activities, social activities before the accident in comparison with those after the accident including your mental attitude, moods and irritability. Do not hide your pain and complaints from them. Caution relatives or friends not to discuss your complaints with the other side.
11. EARNINGS AND WAGE LOSS —Please keep an accurate record of days lost from work because of injury and other reasons. Compare your working ability and capacity before and after the accident.
12. JOB AND INSURANCE APPLICATIONS, MEDICAL EXAMINATION —Be sure you reveal your accident or injuries on insurance and job applications. Also, you should inform the doctor who examines you for employment of this accident and your present condition. You must be consistent in your complaints. If you have any particular problems, discuss them with us.
13. UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS —Advise us if you are going to make application for unemployment claims. You must swear that you are employable and not disabled from work if you file such claims; you cannot later testify you were unable to work as a result of this accident at the time of the application.
14. WITNESSES —Furnish us with the correct name, address and telephone number of any and all witnesses.
15. MEDICAL TREATMENT UNRELATED TO THE ACCIDENT —If you go to a doctor or enter a hospital for conditions other than this accident, tell them about this accident and your present condition as a result of this accident. Keep us promptly advised as to your medical condition and any other factors that may affect your claim so that we can do the proper thing at the proper time and exclude unrelated treatment from this claim.
16. BE TRUTHFUL —Nearly everything that one does is a matter of record, so be truthful, don’t exaggerate and do be consistent. The other side will check out your entire life history and come up with things you may have forgotten. In addition, should we learn that you have been untruthful, we are obliged to 1) ensure that the record is corrected; 2) withdraw from the case; or 3) bring the matter to the attention of opposing counsel and the Court.
17. QUESTIONS —When we have information to report, we will contact you. Also, if we need depositions, medical examination results, or other information, we will come to you. If you have any questions about your personal injury case, please feel free to contact the attorneys at our Stamford, Connecticut office via phone or letter.