Thursday, May 5, 2011
WHAT IS THE VALUE OF MY PERSONAL INJURY CASE? What should you do if you're involved in an accident?
Your actions immediately after an automobile accident can actually impact what your case my ultimately be worth. An experienced Baltimore personal injury attorney will have specific recommendations about steps you need to take to protect yourself and your rights. For years, major insurance companies have been circulating lists of post accident advice, and many of the suggestions make sense. For example, State Farm advises that you "[d]on't sign any document unless it's for the police or your insurance agent; [m]ake immediate notes about the accident, including specific damages to all vehicles involved, witness information, etc; [d]on't tell anyone the accident was your fault, even if you think it was; [and to] state only the facts, and limit your discussion of the accident to the police and your insurance agent". While it's hard to argue with what your insurance company tells you to do, the list is hardly exhaustive. An experienced Baltimore personalinjury attorney will advise you to seek medical attention immediately. Even if you do not feel you or family members are seriously injured, it is always a good idea to let a medical professional make that determination for you. Secondly, take pictures of everything: the tags on the vehicles; the vehicles themselves-being careful to note any damage; the other drivers; the accident scene- noting stoplights, lane markings, direction of travel etc. Note the presence of police, city or commercial cameras. With 8 million cameras in the country, more and more things are recorded on video. Cell phones work, and almost everyone has one, but an actual camera produces higher quality pictures. Many Baltimore personal injury attorneys also recommend that their clients that have sustained serious injury keep a "pain diary". A "pain diary" is a chronology of the days, weeks, and possibly months after the accident, detailing daily social, work or household activities that are made more difficult, or impossible, by the injuries from the accident. In some instances, and injury victim is not asked to recall the nature of their injuries until months, or years, later. The diary can be an invaluable document for recreating the process of healing and recuperation.