What is the most important thing for me to do after my injury?
The most important thing for you to do, quite simply, is to receive appropriate treatment for your injury. The law requires injured people to “mitigate their damages.” In other words, the law requires you to do that which is necessary to improve your physical condition and attempt to recover from your injury.
For you this may mean some, or all, of the following steps:
a. Do not miss appointments with your doctor. Stay in touch with your doctor and be certain to maintain your appointments. If you have to cancel, notify the doctor with as much notice as possible. The words “no show” on a doctor’s record sheet can be used against you at the time of settlement or trial.
b. Attend physical therapy sessions as prescribed. Your physician or hospital may prescribe therapy to facilitate recovery from your injury. Such a procedure is often helpful in many types of injuries including strains, sprains and other so called “soft tissue” injuries. If physical therapy is prescribed, be sure to keep your appointments and participate actively in the process. Again, if you have to cancel an appointment, be sure to call, but try to avoid cancellation as much as possible.
c. Do what your doctor tells you to do. If your physician prescribes certain medications, therapy exercises, or limitations on activities, be sure to follow your doctor’s orders. Failure to follow your doctor’s advice can be used against you when it comes time to settle your case, or can be used against you in court if your claim proceeds to litigation.
d. Follow your doctor’s advice with respect to work and leisure activities. If your physician advises you to rest, stay home from work, or avoid certain activities, it is important that you follow such advice. If you resist your doctor’s advice and do activities that have been limited, it will not only prevent a speedy recovery, but could also affect the legal aspects of your case. Even though staying out of work may have an impact financially, it is important that you follow such advice so that your recovery will be enhanced. Your attorney will attempt to recover lost earnings.