Definitive Guide (2023) How You Can Increase the Value of Your Car Accident Recovery and Your Health
How You Can Help Your Health and Protect the Value of your Car Accident Injury Case

There are a few key things you can do to increase the value of your car accident injury case.  MattLaw’s Definitive Guide explains:

  • HOW CAN YOU HELP YOUR HEALTH, AND PROTECT THE VALUE OF YOUR CAR ACCIDENT INJURY CASE
  • THE BEST EVIDENCE ABOUT CHANGES IN YOUR LIFE CAUSED BY THE CRASH ARE PEOPLE – NOT PAPER
  • BEFORE AND AFTER WITNESSES:
  • COMMON MISTAKES THAT HURT THE VALUE OF YOUR CAR CRASH INJURY CLAIM
  • FAULT EVIDENCE IS NEEDED AND MUST BE COLLECTED AND PRESERVED
  • INJURIES EVIDENCE IS NEEDED AND MUST BE PRESERVED
  • WEAK EVIDENCE THAT REDUCES THE VALUE OF YOUR CAR ACCIDENT INJURY CASE

You can do many things to help yourself and improve the value of your recovery.

 

After a car accident with injuries, there are a few things that you can do to increase the value of your claim.
This information will help you avoid mistakes that could cost you tens of thousands of dollars.
It is important to know that the insurance defense lawyers and insurance companies are in the business of reducing payments on legitimate claims.

After reading this, you will be prepared to take the steps necessary to protect your rights.
Collecting key evidence of fault is important in the first moments after a car crash.

Then getting the proper medical care is your next step.
Avoiding Social Media will also save you a lot of explaining later.
If you have questions, call Matt Powell at MattLaw for a free car accident injury consultation.  813-222-2222

#6 Your Health & The Value of Your Car Accident Injury Case
How You Can Increase The Value Of Your Car Accident Recovery and Your Health

You have control over your health, your treatment, and to some extent the outcome of your health. 

I am going to explain how important it is that you take as many steps as you can to protect your health and the value of your case.  Here are a few key points:

Not selecting the right types of doctors to treat your car accident injuries is an expensive mistake to your health and settlement and I will explain why.

Not going and getting the right medical tests that your doctor’s order is an expensive mistake to your health and settlement and I will explain why.

Not following your doctor’s advice is an expensive mistake to your health and your settlement, and let me explain why.  

Not continuing with palliative care after you reach Maximum Medical Improvement is an expensive mistake to your health and your settlement and let me explain why.

 

 

Selecting the right doctors is the first step to having good medical records!

What types of doctors are best for your health? 

What types of doctors are the best at ordering the right tests?

What types of doctors are the best at documenting your injuries?

After a serious car crash, you don’t get to choose the ambulance, fire rescue or medical personnel that come to the scene of the crash.  

You don’t get to select your first responders.  

These First Responder medical professionals are highly trained in saving lives and getting you to the Emergency Room.

And even when you get to the emergency room at your hospital, you do not get to choose your doctors.  

And again, at the Emergency Room, you are being treated by highly trained specialized doctors who are excellent at stabilizing your health, so your conditions do not get worse.  

However, the emergency room doctor’s job is not to treat your injuries.  Their only job is to stabilize you, and to prevent your conditions from getting worse right after the car crash.  

Emergency Room doctors’ job is to keep you alive, prevent your condition from getting worse, and refer you to other doctors to provide appropriate treatment for your injuries.

The Emergency Department at the hospital has a choice:

Either have you ADMITTED as a patient into the hospital,

OR

DISCHARGE you from the ER, and refer you to a specialist who can continue your care.

If you are Admitted to the hospital, the ER doctor’s care ends, and your treatment is taken over by a doctor working inside the hospital who is better able to provide long term care.

If you are Discharged from the ER, the hospital will suggest you get follow up care from a specialist.

The Emergency Room common DISCHARGE steps are

1) Stabilize your injuries so you can go home, and 

2) Refer you to a doctor associated with the hospital who is a specialist for follow up care.

Being Discharged from the ER means you are stable enough to go home.

Upon your Discharge, the Emergency Department will refer you to a medical specialist whose job is to:

Continue your care, 

Take more time time to evaluate and document your accident injuries, 

Order and run the right tests to fully document your injuries, and 

Begin a Treatment Plan to reduce your injuries and improve your condition.

You need to know that the attending doctor in the hospital, after the emergency room, has to see you for your injuries even if you don’t have insurance.

These doctors are on staff at the hospital, and part of their commitment to be on the hospital staff requires them to see patients discharged from the hospital.

Should you go to the doctor who the hospital referred you to?

If you have serious injuries, such as:

Brain injuries

Spinal injuries damaging your nerves

Broken bones

Internal organ injuries

Serious burn injuries

The answer is Yes, go to the referring doctor right away for your follow up care and treatment.  Unless you have insurance to pick your own doctors.

From the minute after the car crash up and through the discharge from the Emergency Room, you have no choice in selecting the doctors and medical specialists treating your injuries.

But after you leave the ER, the doctors you select are your choice.  So, pick the best ones for your health and your medical records.

DON’T MAKE THIS ONE SIMPLE BUT COMMON MISTAKE!

After the initial trauma and your injuries are stabilized enough for you to leave the hospital, you might be tempted to start your follow up care and treatment with your family doctor.  

Your family doctor is probably an excellent doctor, and yes, you should see him or her.  And when you do see your primary care doctor for some other reason besides your car crash, tell them all about the car crash and what injuries you got from the accident.

If you choose to see your primary care physician after your car accident, they are probably going to tell you, they are not equipped to adequately treat your car crash injuries.

They are not a specialist able to order the right tests you need.

They are not great at documenting your injuries in your medical records.

They do not have a network of physical therapists, occupational therapists, physiatrists, chiropractors, neurologists, orthopedic surgeons.  

Your primary care physician does not have the time or the expertise to adequately care for and document your injuries to the extent necessary for you to recover full and fair compensation for your injuries.  

Your primary care physician may be reluctant to testify on your behalf.

Palliative care is the type of care and treatment you receive after you have reached Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI as defined by the American Medical Association).  

Palliative care is designed to help you maintain the level of health you have achieved through the medical treatments such as surgeries, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and more to help manage your forever symptoms.  This care is designed to help patients obtain relief of symptoms and the stresses of serious injuries.  

Examples of palliative care include: 

Medications,  for pain control

Communication and coordination of ongoing care between caregivers

Emotional support for dealing with chronic conditions

Family/Caregiver support to help the family deal with the stress of taking care of family members who have suffered severe injuries.

All of the palliative care is designed to provide the highest quality of life for the injured person.

Oftentimes, clients will not seek or receive valuable palliative care treatments.  They feel discouraged, frustrated, and sort of give up on themselves.  Sadly, the insurance defense attorney will twist this around and suggest that you don’t need any palliative care, because you have not gotten any after you reached MMI, and therefore “You must be fully healed from the injuries caused by the car accident.”

#7 Best Evidence About Changes In Your Life Caused By the Car Crash Are People - Not Paper
People In Your Life Can Explain What You Are Going Through Better Than You Can Explain It Yourself

Who should be your witnesses to prove how your life has changed after a car accident?

Why do you deserve to be paid anything?

What is your story?

Who should tell your story about how your life was going up until you were seriously injured?

Who should tell your story about how the car crash has changed your life?

Should you tell your own injury story? 

The simple answer is No!  You should not tell your own story by yourself.  

Why can’t you tell your own story effectively?

If you try to tell your own story, you will sound like a complainer.  And nobody likes a complainer.

No one wants to hear a person make self-serving statements about how bad their life is and now you want money for yourself.

Your story must be told through a highly trained lawyer, one who is a specialist in handling a car accident injury case.  

Selecting the right attorney for your injury case is as important as selecting the right doctors.  

Assuming you have hired a highly skilled, highly trained, board certified civil trial lawyer, one certified by the Florida Bar, then your lawyer will be able to tell your story through your witnesses who know you well, and the witnesses do not have any stake in the outcome of your case.  These witnesses are the powerful evidence to tell your story for you.

These witnesses are called Before and After Witnesses.

#8 BEFORE AND AFTER WITNESSES: Are the Best Evidence of how and why your life has changed due to your car accident injuries.
Nobody Likes A Complainer

BEFORE AND AFTER WITNESSES: Are the Best Evidence of how and why your life has changed due to your car accident injuries.  

Nobody likes a complainer.   

And you should never have to explain how bad your injuries are.  

Before and After witnesses are your:

Close friends, 

Co-workers,

Servers who see you often at your favorite restaurant,

Bank Tellers who see you frequently,

Neighbors,

Friends in clubs,

Church members,

Family members, 

These are the people who can tell your story of how your life was affected by the car crash. 

How do we find your before and after witnesses?

How can you help your lawyer help you prove your case?

Talk to your lawyer, and let them know who are the people in your circle of life that have contact with you?

Let the lawyer know early on who might be a great person to talk about what has happened to you, your family, your life.  

You can’t talk to your before and after witnesses and ask them to get involved.  

You don’t have to ask the witness to help you, let your Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer ask for you.  This is what we do at MattLaw™.  We reach out to your family, friends and acquaintances to ask them to help you by being a valuable before and after witnesses.  

We will ask them for you if they are willing to share some stories or observations they noticed regarding how your car accident injuries have affected you.

You don’t have to ask them anything.

Selecting witnesses to support the changes in your life are one of the most important decisions that can be made in your car accident injury case.  As a client of mine, I want your input on choosing witnesses who can share the problems and frustrations you live with that were caused by the car accident.

We want to have witnesses who can explain how the car accident has affected your life.  This is because you as the victim of the accident should never have to explain your problems, instead let someone else share the story of how your life has changed.

I call these great people before and after witnesses, because they can share how your life was before the accident, and how the accident has changed the quality of your life, and how you suffer now.

Sure, your doctors can testify about your injuries, but the doctor’s can’t tell the whole story of how your life has been affected.

We need good witnesses who are willing and able to talk about what your life is like outside of a medical office or hospital.

The personal challenges you face on a daily basis.  The changes in relationships with your family, friends, and co-workers.

There are subtle changes in an accident victim’s personality.  This can not be gleaned from your medical records.

And with a brain injury client, the before and after witnesses are the most powerful evidence of how a brain injury has profoundly affected their life.

#9 Common Mistakes That Hurt The Value of Your Car Crash Injury Claim
Don't Make These Common Mistakes

COMMON MISTAKES THAT HURT THE VALUE OF YOUR CAR CRASH INJURY CLAIM

What can DECREASE THE VALUE of your car crash injury claim:

TIME IS YOUR ENEMY – Don’t waste a day

EVIDENCE GETS LOST – Save it while you can find it

WRONG DOCTORS – Write weak medical records

GAPS IN YOUR TREATMENT – Usually means you are not hurt

HIRING THE WRONG LAWYER – Reduces the settlement value

Time is your enemy.  As seconds go by, evidence begins to disappear.  Witnesses who may testify on your behalf may leave the scene, and their identity and valuable testimony of what happened is gone forever.

Do not expect the police to gather much evidence at the scene of a car accident.  The police in most cases just take down the basic information, file their report and go on to their next call.  They do not usually collect the names of eye witnesses.  

You need to get all the witnesses names and contact information right away, or else proof of what happened will likely be gone forever.

Evidence Gets Lost – Save it while you can.
Important evidence starts to disappear in the first few moments after a serious car crash.
Locations of vehicles
Location of debris
Eye witness names

If possible, document Who, What and Where

Knowing Who might be a witness
Knowing What damages may exist on the road

Where the marks and debris are all add up to proving who is at fault for your car accident

Wrong Doctors – Write weak medical records

Selecting your primary care doctor to prove your injuries is like asking a visitor to your city for directions.  They just don’t know enough to help you.

Selecting specialized medical professionals is the best way to guide you in the right direction to making a full recovery from your car accident injuries.

Gaps In Your Treatment – Usually means you are not hurt

Once you are on the right road to physical recovery because you have good directions from a specialist, your directions won’t help much if you don’t follow them.
Follow your doctor’s good advice to improve your health.

Take the tests your good doctor has asked you to take to help them make a more accurate diagnosis of your car accident injuries.

By working with your doctors, following their instructions, you can’t be blamed by the insurance company defense attorney for not getting better because you failed to go to the doctor.  Or, even worse, the insurance lawyer may say you are not hurt and that is why you did not go to the doctor.

Avoid gaps in your treatment, and if you miss an appointment, make sure you tell the doctor the good reason why you were unable to keep the appointment.

Hiring the Wrong Lawyer – Reduces the settlement value

Hiring the Right Lawyer – Increases the value of your car accident injury case

Selecting the right lawyer for your case can make a huge difference in the outcome of your case.  

Ask the lawyer before you hire them this one question:

“When was the last time you stood in front of a jury and asked for money in a case like mine?”

#10 Fault Evidence is Needed And Must Be Collected and Saved Quickly
Proving Fault and Liability is critical to making a full recovery from your car accident injury case

Failing to preserve available evidence may cost you a lot.  This is why you should try to collect evidence as soon as you are able.

Photographs of the Scene:  After a car accident, there may be 

Skid marks on the road, 

Gouges in the street, 

Broken glass, 

Plastic debris, and 

Burn marks.  

If you can, take photographs of the scene showing the location of the various marks and debris on and around the crash site, this evidence may prove the other driver’s fault.  Quite often, the location of the point of impact may be a determining factor of who is at fault.  By taking photographs and recording where the debris is located may be important to proving your case.

#11 Injuries Evidence Is Needed and Must Be Saved
Pictures of the scars and bruises are important too

Proof of Injuries are used to increase the value of your car accident injures

Photographs of injuries are valuable to prove and show:

Bruising, 

Lacerations, 

Scaring

Photographs help document the severity of your injuries, 

Photographs help to prove you were wearing a seatbelt, 

Photographs prove the airbag hit your face, burnt your arms and hands. 

Photographs of your knees can show how the dashboard impacted your knees.

#12 Weak Evidence Reduces The Value of Your Car Accident Injury Case
Why Selecting a Medical Specialist adds value to your case and quality of life

Selecting the right kind of doctor specializing in treating car accident injuries is the first step to prove your injuries were caused by the crash.  

Primary care physicians are great doctors.  But they just are not set up to treat injuries.  They don’t know what tests to order, what therapy is best, and their records are usually short notes without much description.

In the end, your case value will be based upon your medical records.  

Chances are that if you have ever looked at your own medical records from your primary care doctor, there are notes about your weight, blood pressure, and other common vital signs, but your records do not have a lot of detail about any sort of injury you may have had in the past.

And your primary care physician is not likely to take the time to write much about your injuries and will not contain enough information for any insurance company to justify paying you well.

So, please do yourself a favor, and find the right doctor, one who is a specialist in treating traumatic injuries.

 

 

Keeping Your Appointments and Avoiding Gaps In Your Treatments!

You must do your part.  

Skipping doctors’ appointments or not getting recommended medical tests all reduce the value of your car accident case.

The insurance company will say you must not be badly hurt, because you did not go to the doctors.  You did not get the tests done.  

The lack of good medical documentation will mean your car accident case has less value than one with full documentation and good medical records.

The Dangers of Social Media:

Whatever you post, or your friends post about you on social media will be seen by the insurance companies and ultimately by a jury if your case is not settled. 

Checklist of what you can do to protect the value of your Car Accident Injury Claim

Here is the short list of what you should do after a car accident to maximize your ability to make a full recovery for your injuries.

Car accident Checklist:

1 Collect Evidence of Fault at the Scene of the Car Accident, such as photographs of the damages to all of the cars, photographs of the debris on the road, any traffic control devices which may prove the other driver was at fault for causing your car accident injuries.
2 Get the Names of any Witnesses to prove the other drivers were at fault for causing the car accident and your injuries.

3 Take pictures or videos of your injuries, such as scars and bruises.

4 Think about who in your life would be able and willing to talk for you about the changes you suffered from the car accident injuries

5 Select the best and right kind of doctors to treat your car accident injuries

6 Follow your doctor’s advice

7 Avoid Social Media such as Instagram and Facebook.

8 Call Matt Powell at MattLaw for a Free Consultation

If you have questions about your car accident injury case, please call my office for a free consultation.  By learning your rights, you protect yourself and your family.

Sincerely,

 

Matt Powell, Esq.
Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer

 

 

 

 

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