Checklist for Personal Injury Claims
There are certain important things to keep in mind at the beginning of an injury case. Here is the opening letter I send to new clients. It has some helpful hints for you. Feel free to call me if you would like to discuss your case. You can reach me at 610 642 7676.
It was very nice to meet with you. I look forward to working with you.
I have begun processing your injury claim and I intend to protect your interests and achieve the maximum possible recovery. You can help assure our success by doing the following:
1. Read this letter carefully and save it for future reference.
2. DO NOT DISCUSS THIS CASE WITH ANYONE, EXCEPT YOUR DOCTOR OR ME. REFER ALL OTHER PERSONS TO ME AND ASK YOUR FAMILY AND WITNESSES TO FOLLOW THE SAME PRECAUTIONS. It is especially important not to speak to any insurance representatives unless I have given you permission to do so.
3. Notify me of any change in address or telephone number.
4. Record all expenses you incur as a result of this accident and collect the bills.
5. Keep a journal of your daily pain and suffering and the effect your injury has on everyday activities and relationships. Make sure that you address the journal to me so that we will not have to turn it over to the people or company we are suing. Also, inform your doctor of all symptoms so that he or she has accurate and complete records of your treatment.
6. Follow your doctor’s advice precisely and tell me when he discharges you.
7. Make a copy of your prescriptions and forward them with receipts to me.
8. Do not sign any papers concerning your claim for any insurance company, investigator or attorney.
9. Forward all letters or forms that you receive in the mail regarding this matter to me.
Be aware that insurance companies often use investigators to spy on people that claim injury. Call me immediately if you, your neighbor or employer suspects that this is happening. The insurance companies may use long-range video cameras to record any activities that go beyond the restrictions that may be placed on you or by your doctor.
The normal processing of a personal injury claim involves the following steps: a) The incident is investigated and necessary witness’ statements are secured; b) When your doctor discharges you, I collect and review all medical reports and bills, along with any record of lost earnings; c) After an inter-office valuation of your case, I will attempt to negotiate an out of court settlement; d) I will promptly advise you of the results of the negotiations with my recommendations; and extra space e) If no settlement can be achieved, I will institute a lawsuit on your behalf.
Please be very careful with email. Whenever you send an email, you should be aware that other eyes might view it. In litigation, this is particularly important. I recently had an unpleasant experience that emphasizes the importance of caution when sending email. My client sent emails regarding his lawsuit to several of his witnesses. Quoted in those emails were emails I had sent to him. Imagine my shock when the opposing attorney received those emails from these witnesses via subpoena.
My emails to my client are confidential and are protected from disclosure to the other attorney. But when those emails are forwarded to third parties, they become discoverable. Fortunately, I never put anything in writing that could ever embarrass a client or me. And so there was no lasting damage.
Whenever you send an email regarding your litigation to anyone but me:
1) Consider first how they would feel if that email were to be viewed by their opponent in litigation;
2) Put into writing only what is absolutely necessary;
3) Put into writing only what is true;
4) Send the email to me first so that I can be sure it is ok to forward.
It is always a good idea to check with your attorney before taking any step in furtherance of your case. With email, it’s especially important.
I spoke to an insurance adjuster recently who gave me a pretty thorough biography of one of my clients, what sports he is playing in school, articles about him, his height, etc. You need to be aware that any party may find anything you post online. If possible, stay off of Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc. I have heard of client’s whose cases were harmed because of pictures and messages on one of these sites. Insurance companies monitor them.
Please print this Email now and review it from time to time.
It is a pleasure to represent you. Rest assured that your legal rights will be well protected.
Very truly yours,
EVAN K. AIDMAN