Communication and Your Injury Claim
Being on top of Communication regarding your accident claim is critical to its success. What do I mean by that? A couple of things: First, DON’T talk to people you shouldn’t be talking to about your claim. Second, DO talk to your lawyer. That’s it.
Would that it were so simple for everyone to follow these brief instructions.
After your injury claim, you have to be aware that you are in an adversarial relationship with an insurance company whose sole goal is to minimize their exposure in your claim. I often tell clients to think of it like an arrest: Everything you say CAN AND WILL BE USED AGAINST YOU by the insurance company. So what do you do? More like, what DON’T you do…
- Don’t talk to the insurance adjuster about your injuries. Talk about property damage if you must, but NOT about your injuries, treatment, recovery, etc. Don’t even answer the question, “How are you doing?” Just don’t.
- Don’t go on social media about your claim or your injuries. It might seem innocuous, but there’s a great saying in this business: When you’re explaining, you’re losing. Don’t give yourself anything you have to explain away. Just don’t.
- Don’t threaten to, much less actually, “go to the media” about how the insurance company is treating you. It’s not a good look and will likely only end up doing you harm. Just don’t.
But affirmative communication is also important. What does that mean?
- Talk to your attorney any time s/he writes, emails, calls, or whatever form of communication you guys agree to (I personally won’t text clients unless it’s absolutely necessary, but whatever). Making sure your attorney knows what’s going on with your health and recovery is critical to planning for the best strategy in your claim.
- This is worth two bullet points…ANSWER the questions your attorney asks you. I can’t tell you how many cases have atrophied because my clients couldn’t be bothered to tell me something about their care and recovery when I asked about it, or couldn’t see fit to follow directions I gave them.
- Be open to your healthcare providers about conditions you relate to this accident. If you hit your head and think you have a concussion, 6 months after the accident isn’t the time to bring it up. When you seek care following your accident, talk to your providers about EVERYTHING that seems to have changed since the accident. The sooner you get things checked out, the more likely we’ll be able to causally link them to your accident.
- If you’ve been told to keep a pain journal – do that. I always tell clients to write at least about three things: What hurts? How badly? How is it affecting your day to day life? If you can get that in every day until you’re better, you’ll have an amazingly impactful journal.
Essentially, this is a know when to talk and when not to talk question. The easy answer is be very open with healthcare providers and your attorney, but don’t talk to the insurance company at all if you can avoid it. It’s only likely to go poorly if you do.
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