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How Can I Help My Case?

If you have been injured, you may wonder what you can do to help your case. At the Rinehardt Law Firm of Mansfield-Columbus, we know that the most important thing you can do is get as much evidence as possible. To protect your rights, you should do everything possible to keep a record of how the accident happened and what injuries you suffered.

The key is to get evidence that will prove that someone else was at fault and how badly you were hurt.

Generally, if you were injured because someone was careless, you do. This applies to injuries that are caused by a reckless driver, a dangerous product, an employer that disables a guard and a store that has a dangerous sidewalk. If someone else is at fault and injures you, then you probably have a case.

  • Photograph the accident scene.
  • Measure the length of any skid marks or gouge marks in the roadway.
  • Photograph the interiors and exteriors of all vehicles involved in the accident. (If you believe the injuries to you or your passengers were caused by a defect in your vehicle, such as the failure of an air bag to deploy or the collapse of your seat back, it is crucial that your vehicle not be repaired or destroyed until an automotive design expert has inspected it.)
  • Get the name, address and phone number of anyone who witnessed the accident or who arrived at the scene shortly after.
  • Photograph all areas of visible injury as soon as possible and take additional photographs during the recovery process to show the stages of recovery.
  • See your doctor as soon as possible after the accident and describe every area where you are experiencing pain or having other problems. This is extremely important! For example, if you fractured your leg in the accident, you may feel the most pain in your leg, but also notice your back hurts. It’s very important that you tell your doctors about your back pain as well. It’s possible that your back is injured and may continue to be a problem long after you recover from your broken leg. If you don’t have your doctor document your back pain, the insurance company will try to claim that your back injury is not a result of the accident.
  • Keep receipts for all of your out-of-pocket expenses resulting from the accident. For example, gas spent traveling to and from the hospital and doctor’s office, hotel and meal expenses, any medical supplies, bandages, rental of hospital beds, etc.
  • Track all the time your family or friends spent helping you, so that they can be reimbursed at the successful conclusion of your claim. For example, a family member takes time off work to drive you to the doctor, or if they help you with your household chores.
  • You have a right to receive money damages from the at-fault person’s insurance company. The harms that you have suffered must be made up for by money damages.
  • Money damages pay for your medical bills and medical supplies.
  • Money damages pay you for the paychecks you lose while you are off work.
  • Money damages pay you to replace your loss of enjoyment of your life.

Because you are here looking for more information, you already suspect the answer to this question.

The insurance adjuster is probably being rude, abusive or may be ignoring your phone calls. That tells you something about his priorities. Consider who makes money if the insurance company gets away with paying you less than your case is worth. Why would the insurance company offer you anything even close to a fair amount if it can get away with paying you less? How will you know if the amount the insurance company offers is fair?

You know better than anyone that the worst part of having been hurt is that the pain keeps you from doing the things you like to do. The amount of money you should get depends on how badly you are hurt. If any of your injuries are permanent or long lasting, your award must be even higher.

My lawyer won’t return my calls; my lawyer won’t tell me why my case is taking so long; my lawyer wants me to take a settlement that I don’t think is fair; my lawyer is rude to me; I never get to talk to my lawyer only his secretary. The bottom line is your lawyer works for you and that should mean that he or she is doing everything possible to look out for your interests and get you the best settlement. Your lawyer should answer your questions and should return your phone calls. Every case is unique, so there is no set timeline, but you have a right to know what is being done.

When a lawyer fails to handle your case the way you expect, you have a right to end the representation and get a new lawyer. You will have to put it in writing that you are ending the representation and the lawyer must give your file to you or your new lawyer. Generally, when your new lawyer settles your case, the old lawyer will be paid for the reasonable value of his/her services up to the time the old lawyer was terminated. In most accident cases, your new lawyer will pay the old lawyer out of the percentage attorney fee. In most cases, when you hire a new lawyer, you won’t have to pay anymore in attorney fees than if you kept the old lawyer. For example, if you were to pay the old lawyer 1/3, and the new lawyer takes your case for 1/3, then when your case settles, you pay the new lawyer 1/3 and out of the 1/3 the new lawyer pays the old lawyer.

Even if you only feel shook up, you should get medical treatment at the emergency room or urgent care as soon as possible. After an accident, you are going to have a lot of adrenaline pumping, which may mask injuries. Lots of times you think you are okay, only to have serious pain later. You may have broken bones, an injury to a disc in your back or neck, a torn rotator cuff or tear of the labrum of the hip. Many of these serious injuries start off with relatively little pain. People with serious injuries often start out thinking it’s just a bruise or a minor strain.

After the emergency room or urgent care, if your pain gets worse, you must see your family doctor or go back to the emergency room because a more serious injury may have been missed at your first visit.

You know better than anyone that the worst part of having been hurt is that the pain keeps you from doing the things you like to do. The amount of money you should get depends on how badly you are hurt. If any of your injuries are permanent or long lasting, your award must be even higher.

Ready to get Started?

We’re here to help you and your family get back on track after an accident. Reach out to us today for a free case evaluation.