The rules are pretty simple.
The first rule is to hire a good lawyer. Now.
Here is what he will tell you:
Get treatment as soon as you know you are hurt, and don’t stop until you are completely cured. Why? Because every good lawyer will want to wait to settle your case until the earliest of the following occurs:
-you are completely healed
-your doctor says you won’t get any better
-you know what the applicable insurance limits are, and you know that your case is worth more than the limits
Get copies of all your tax records- Schedule C’s and W2’s – going back to 3 years before the accident. Why? You cannot settle a lost wage claim without this information.
When your doctor or hospital takes you off work, make a copy of the note and give it to your lawyer. You also need this to settle a lost wage claim.
Tell your lawyer as soon as you stop going to a doctor, hospital or therapy provider. This way he can order their records – and forward them to the insurance company – as soon as possible.
Get your lawyer the names and addresses of every doctor you have seen in the past five years, so he can get their records. Why? The insurance company won’t believe you were not already hurt until they can see your bills.
Turn all of your medical bills into your health insurance company. This lets them figure out what their interest is, which the auto insurance company will consider when trying to evaluate your pain and suffering claim. (Some lawyers advise against this, because auto insurance companies like to look at the total of the medical bills, or insurance payments, when evaluating a case; if you turn the bills into the medical insurance carrier, the bills will be paid off at a discount.)
Keep copies of the bills for your lawyer. Give your lawyer copies of your pharmacy prescriptions and receipts too.
Get a copy of your auto insurance policy. Why? You might have to use it if the other driver does not have enough insurance.Get it to your lawyer so he knows how much underinsured motorist coverage you have.
Here is why the most important thing to do if you want to settle your case without filing suit is to hire a good lawyer now:
-Good lawyers realize the importance of avoiding a lawsuit, and know how to get a case settled fairly without filing suit.
-The longer you wait to get the case to the lawyer, the more likely it is the lawyer won’t have enough time to do what he needs to do.
-Your lawyer is the best one to order medical records. It takes anywhere from two weeks to several months to get the medical records once you order them.
-If you have a permanent injury, you usually need a letter from your doctor describing it and saying that it is permanent. This can take several months. Your lawyer is the one you want to get this, because he knows the questions to ask the doctor.
-The lawyer talks to insurance companies every day. He knows what information they need, and how to get it to them.
If you’ve read this far, this is obviously important to you. You deserve to have a good lawyer working for you.
I can probably help you. Give me a call. My name is Bill Strubbe and I am a Cincinnati Injury Lawyer.
If it makes you feel better, other lawyers refer their clients to me. And if you decide you‘d rather hire someone else, that’s OK. My phone is 513-621-4775.
Because all situations are different, and because there may be other facts pertaining to your case that I don’t know about, you should not rely on this answer for legal advice. I am not your attorney, and no lawyer client relationship has been formed. All discussions are limited to Ohio law unless otherwise indicated. And past performance cannot be used to predict future results.