Two Things to Do After a Slip and Fall Accident
It can be difficult to know what to do in the aftermath of a slip and fall accident. Most victims are unfamiliar with the legal process, and unsure how best to protect their legal interests. By learning about what happens after a slip and fall accident, victims can both improve their medical recovery process and protect their legal interests throughout the claims process.
Do Not Wait to Get Medical Treatment Until Your Case Has Settled
Many slip and fall victims are concerned about paying for medical treatment in the wake of an accident. This is a completely reasonable concern. Medical bills add up quickly, and many family budgets simply do not support thousands of dollars in unexpected medical bills. But it is important that necessary medical treatment not be delayed due to financial concerns. Injuries that are not treated immediately and thoroughly can become worse. If this occurs, an insurance company or defense attorney can attempt to limit the value of a victim’s claim. They will try to argue that the pain and suffering were exacerbated by the victim’s actions – not through the fault of the defendant. Thus, in order to improve the chances of both a successful medical recovery and legal recovery, it is important for victims to immediately seek medical care, and follow through with all treatment recommendations that are made by medical providers.
When seeking immediate medical treatment for slip and fall injuries, there are many options to pay medical bills before a personal injury case settles. A victim’s health insurance is still obligated to pay for medical care which is covered by that person’s plan. If the victim later receives compensation from the defendant for these medical bills, the health insurance company may be able to seek reimbursement for any injury-related medical claims which were paid by the health insurance carrier. This is known as subrogating a claim. In cases where the victim does not have health insurance or the health insurance carrier will not cover certain services (such as chiropractic care), it may be possible to find a medical provider who will wait for payment. The provider will file an official lien against your personal injury award with your attorney’s office. When your claim is settled, the provider has a legal right to be paid for his or her services out of the proceeds of the settlement (or jury award).
These and other options may be available to victims who are need of immediate medical treatment. The important thing to remember is that you should not delay any part of medical treatment, as it can affect your ability to recover compensation.
Protect Your Legal Interests
Many slip and fall victims are unfamiliar with the personal injury claims process. Because of this, it can be easy to accidentally say or do something which will hurt your case. Never post information about the accident on any social media account. This includes statements about what happened, descriptions or pictures of your injuries, statements about your pain, and any other facts about the accident. This information can be used against you by an insurance claims adjuster or defense attorney who is trying to minimize the value of your pain and suffering.
There are many similar ways in which a victim can inadvertently hurt his or her personal injury case. It is therefore important to consult with an attorney as soon as possible in order to seek guidance about pursuing your claim. The sooner an attorney becomes involved in your case, the better protected your legal interests will be throughout the claims process.
The JLF Firm aggressively protects the legal rights of slip and fall injury victims. Call (562) 418-6880 today or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.