Catastrophic injuries in Washington State: What to do first

Have you experienced a catastrophic injury that was the result of another’s neglect? It may be possible to claim compensation for your medical bills and suffering. If you’re moving forward with a lawsuit, there are some practices that you should keep in mind.

First, you should contact an attorney for a consultation. Only a lawyer can provide you with legal advice that applies to your specific situation. The following steps can help you avoid undermining your case before you’ve received legal advice.

  • Have doctors fully document your injuries
  • Follow your treatment and therapy plans
  • Do not discuss your case with anyone

Have doctors fully document your injuries

Make sure your injuries are as well documented as possible. Your injuries, and the limits that they impose on you, should be covered in tests, x-ray-s, bloodwork, or other relevant tests. Most hospitals keep good records, but you should ask for your own copies and keep them in a folder for your lawyer to review.

Try to avoid delaying any of these tests unless it is medically necessary. Proving that your injuries occurred when they are said to have occurred is a factor in many civil cases. You can fight claims that the injury developed from another cause by being diligent now.

Follow your treatment and therapy plans

Follow the treatment plans that you are given by your doctor. These plans may include prescriptions, physical therapy, or progress-related milestones.

If you find some of these methods too painful for your stage of recovery will you decide to skip sessions? If you feel you are recovering faster than expected, will you try to push yourself beyond recommendations?

Making either of these decisions may make it harder for you to fight your case. The opposing lawyer may use your non-compliance to demonstrate that your symptoms are not as severe as you are claiming. They may also claim that your non-compliance contributed to the extent of your injuries.

Do not discuss your case with anyone

Do not discuss your injuries with anyone but your doctor until you have consulted with your personal injury lawyer. If you make statements to friends (even sarcastic ones), they can be called to testify. Don’t take the risk, and keep the details of your case to yourself.

You should also avoid any public statements such as social media posts. Lawyers, insurance companies, and other parties may pore through any Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter posts you have made to use against you. Public pictures are also fair game. For example, a picture of you on a bicycle ride may be used to argue that you aren’t experiencing leg pain.

Protect yourself until a lawyer can help

By making sure that your injuries are fully documented, and following all treatment plans, you may be able to protect yourself from several common attacks on your credibility. By refusing to discuss your case with anyone, you avoid the risk of having your words misinterpreted.