Your Responsibilities As A Plaintiff In A Personal Injury Case
If you will be filing a personal injury claim, you should know that as a plaintiff, you will a responsibility to mitigate (lessen) your damages. There are several areas you need to pay attention to, to make sure you will be fully eligible for a successful settlement.
After you have been injured, it is necessary to seek prompt medical attention and follow the advice of your physician. If you are employed, you also need to see the medical professional that your employer has designated if you need time off to recuperate, so as to keep your job and collect any benefits due you.
To help your case, you need to:
- Get immediate care for an obvious injury to prevent further damage or improve your chances for recovery. Sometimes people think their injuries are minor, but later they turn out to be more serious. If there is any doubt, get it checked out.
- Follow medical advice to promote healing and avoid aggravating the injury. This could include recommendations such as: losing weight, not using the body part for a while, taking medications, or applying treatments.
- Submit to surgical procedure if the medical professionals involved deem it necessary for your recovery. However, if there is significant risk to the surgery and the outlook for a positive outcome is iffy at best, avoiding the procedure may be considered a reasonable course of action.
- Go to follow up/continuing care appointments to show your interest in getting better.
If you want to use an alternative treatment, make sure that it is evidence-based. This means that there is considerable scientific research that this treatment is effective in the majority of cases relating to your type of injury or medical condition. It would help your position if your primary physician is agreeable to this, and you are not using it to avoid getting necessary conventional care. You should be aware that using strange or unproven therapies could harm your case.
If your claim is significant, you should know that it is not unusual for defendants to hire private investigators to collect evidence that your injuries are not as severe as you claim, or that you are engaging in activities that would prevent you from recovering. For instance, if your claim involves a back or neck injury, you would not want photographic evidence of you carrying around a child, lifting heavy objects, or doing major repairs to your vehicle. Not only would you reduce your chance of getting better and being able to enjoy life more fully, you also make yourself look dishonest when you do these things.
Sometimes an over-developed sense of responsibility motivates people to do these unwise things. Fight this impulse, and be assertive when people try to pressure you into doing more than you should.
You have a responsibility to work if your injuries permit it. If you can no longer do your current job, you should make efforts to find other employment. This may require getting some training to learn a new occupation more in line with your limitations and abilities. If you do not seek employment, fail to get training, or sabotage efforts for employment, then your compensation for lost wages could be significantly reduced.
You should seek the services of a personal injury attorney's office like the Hensley Law Team to navigate the system and work toward getting the best compensation for your claim. Remember to get prompt and reasonable medical care for your injuries, live in a manner conducive to recovery, and make practical efforts to stay or become employed, so that your case will be taken seriously by defendant and the court.