1. Report your accident to your supervisor as soon as possible, preferably on the day of the accident.
2. Seek medical care as soon as possible. Remember that the employer can direct healthcare initially. If the employer does direct healthcare, then you need to obtain care through that physician because the workers' comp insurance company will not have to pay for any other physicians other then the "authorized healthcare providers."
3. If your physician allows you to continue working even if it's with limitations and restrictions, you should inform your employer that you are willing to work with these restrictions and you should accept any job offer that they make to you with these restrictions and limitations even if it is not the same job and even if it's for less money. Otherwise, the insurance company will have an excuse for not continuing to pay your monetary benefits.
4. Don't miss appointments. It's very important that you are faithful in keeping your doctor and therapy appointments.
5. Keep track of your mileage to and from your physicians because you are entitled to mileage reimbursement if your trip to the healthcare provider is more then 30 miles round trip.
6. Stay in touch with your employer. Let them know the status of your medical condition and your work restrictions.
7. Keep copies of all checks, correspondence, and communications that you have with your employer and insurance company. Keep a file of these documents because you may need them later.
8. Keep a journal or notebook available to write down the details of conversations that you have with your employer and/or insurer keeping track of the date, the time of the conversations, what was said, and who the conversations were with. Also try to record the details of your injury in this journal.
9. Do whatever is necessary to try to get back to work with the same employer or with another employer, if necessary. Whatever workers' compensation benefits you will be entitled to, whether before or after maximum medical improvement, these benefits will rarely be enough to allow you to live comfortably.
10. Contact an attorney if there are issues or questions with respect to whether or not you are being provided the appropriate medical or monetary (indemnity) benefits.
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1. Call the police and have a police report made even if the accident is relatively minor and the extent of the injuries is uncertain.
2. If possible obtain information from the driver of the other vehicle and give him your information including insurance information.
3. Obtain medical care as soon as possible after the accident unless you are convinced that you are completely uninjured. Some injuries are "latent" and often appear gradually. This is often true of back and neck injuries. It is best to get to a doctor as soon as possible to have the injuries documented and treated. Some injuries resolve themselves better if they are treated early with, for example, physical therapy.
4. Obtain a copy of the police report as soon as possible from the police department. Generally it takes two weeks for them to finalize and file the police report with their department.
5. Report your accident to your insurance company as quickly as possible. Even if the accident is other person's fault, you will often want to get your insurance company involved, for example, to pay medical expenses through your "med pay" coverage if you have such coverage. You have a duty to inform your insurance company of the accident even though it may be the fault of someone else.
6. Continue to obtain regular medical care. It is important to document your ongoing symptoms. If you are completely symptom free, then there is no need, obviously to continue to see a doctor but if you have ongoing symptoms, it is necessary to obtain consistent medical care.
7. If your injuries are persistent and seem long lasting or permanent, it is best to get the advise of an attorney.
8. Get photographs of your damaged vehicle.
9. Obtain appraisals for the damage to your vehicle and work with your insurance company and the insurance company of the other driver to have your vehicle repaired or replaced as quickly as possible. There are often disputes with respect to the value of the vehicle especially when they are "totaled."
10. Keep a diary of your symptoms, limitations, lost time from work and medical treatment.
11. Make sure your claim is filed in court or settled well before the three year statute of limitations (two years if the defendant is a governmental entity), or your claim will be barred forever. Do not wait until the last minute!
Most attorney's do not charge a consultation fee for listening to you and advising you about your rights when you are in an auto accident or any other type of accident. You then have the discretion as to whether or not you want to hire that attorney to represent you. Generally, attorney's will charge, when they are representing you on your case, anywhere between 25 percent to 33 1/3 percent of the recovery. Some individuals prefer to try to settle their claims on their own without the involvement of an attorney. Sometimes this works well for an individual, particularly if the injuries are non-existent or very minor.
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