The following blog is to help the injured person to prepare and safeguard his or her claim in Michigan.
The insurance industry has developed sophisticated tracking mechanisms for settlement purposes.
Steps you take immediately after your accident can assist your lawyer in getting you the best settlement later.
It boils down to the evidence. Evidence, evidence, evidence.
You are in an accident. A traffic accident report is generated by the responding police department. Medical records are generated by the EMS, the Emergency Room, the Hospital is admitted, the physicians that begin treating your injuries.
Suddenly, lawyers show up at your door, your hospital room, or contact you by phone or letter. These lawyers are part of schemes that tap into the public infomation, the police report, etc… to find our who has been in accidents.
Beware, this should throw up red flags to you. The first hurdle you face is the less ethical law firms, that tap into these schemes, and attempt to sign you up before you have had time to plan your next move yourself. The problem is they may steer you to their doctors, who are known to the insurance industry adjusters, that send up “do not settle” red flags on your case.
After you have fended off the sharks, you have three years to file a lawsuit, yo will be contacted by your insurance company to give them a statement. Do not give a recorded statement to them. Your sense of cooperation and positive spirit may be used against you in the future.
When you are out of the hospital, or have recovered enough to take care of business, take care to safeguard your rights under the No-Fault law of Michigan.
You potentially have two cases: One, against the other driver; and, two, against your own insurance company for wage loss, medical benefits, etc….
Regardless, you have to be aware of what evidence is- it includes what you say to the nurses and doctors when you triage in the emergency room and thereafter. What you say happened is the “History” in your medical record that will follow the case for the entire time it winds it’s way through the courts. How you say it determines if the nurse or doctor taking the history gets it right. It is not fair: you have just been injured in an auto accident and you are excited, have suffered a head injury, or any number of things that impact on your ability to articulate what has happened to you.
The history is key. It is your admission of what happened in the auto accident. Be sure to get your facts straight, and relay that as clearly as possible to the police, nurses, and physicians.
The next blog will be a follow up as to other steps to take after the accident.
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