Common Sense Advice for the Personal Injury Claimant
Here are some basic tips:
1. Your claim is private, to you and your spouse. We suggest you not discuss it with others. An exception is when we ask “lay witnesses” to write letters on your behalf.
2. Your acquaintances and family, and even you, have preconceptions about personal injury claims, and lawyers. Please give us the benefit of the doubt that our values are similar to yours, and we will be asserting claims to what you are entitled to under the law. Never brag what you expect to be getting.
3. Some attorneys would have you cancel all your social media accounts, NOW, and I respect that opinion. What is not there cannot be used against you.
4. I like my approach. You are going to need your friends and family. My wife and I have prayed for dozens of people and families going through illness and injury from requests we found on our Facebook Home Page. Having your Facebook Friends as a part of your support network can help.
5. But, at the very least, go visit your site, and study your profile. If it says too much or is inaccurate, fix it.
6. Review your content with the assumption that the insurance adjustor will be viewing it. Signs of tolerance for drugs, profanity, or excessive consumption of alcohol must go. No, we aren’t trying to take away your individuality. We just want you to portray a clean-cut image.
7. Unless you are a candidate or are promoting yourself commercially, all settings should be “friends only.” When you get an alert, or Facebook is “upgraded”, check those settings.
8. Don’t post specifics about your injury or recovery, but, more importantly, anything you post should be consistent with what you tell us.
9. Need we remind you that we need accurate information from you, diary entries that don’t exaggerate or minimize, and DO NOT POST PHOTOS OF YOURSELF ENGAGING IN ACTIVITIES THAT WE ARE TELLING THE ADJUSTOR YOU CAN NO LONGER DO, UNLESS THEY ARE DATED TO SHOW THEY WERE YOUR PRIOR ACTIVITY. If you ran marathons or ran the rapids, keep those postings up.10. Keep us informed of your progress, treatment, and setbacks. We will pepper the adjustor with information that she can note in order to set an appropriate “reserve value” for your claim.
11. Some lawyers no longer like their clients to keep a journal. (see #3 above.) I prefer that you do. Give us examples of what impact your injuries have, activities you have to defer, services your spouse, friends, family have to do for you, and descriptions of pain, inconvenience, and limitations. But, as you improve, report it accurately too.
12. Call us when you have questions!
This post was written by Burton Hunter